Family reunions are rarely held on a basketball court, but for brothers Jeff and Steve deLaveaga the Cal Lutheran gym was the ideal location for their next get-together.
Jeff, a 6-4 guard from Southern California College has transferred to Cal Lutheran. He will join Steve, a 6-4 forward who is Cal Lutheran's second all-time leading scorer.
Next season will mark the first time the brothers have played on the same team since 1985 when they were both at California High in San Ramon.
It will also renew a sibling rivalry that has been dormant since high school.
"I knew I would be called Steve's little brother if I went to Cal Lutheran after high school," Jeff said. "I had always followed in my brother's footsteps, so I figured last year was a good time to break away."
Steve was the player of the year in the NAIA District III and set six Kingsmen scoring records and tied another as a junior last season.
Jeff averaged 9.8 points a game as a freshman last season and played about 10 minutes a game coming off the bench.
"I went down there to get away from Steve, it was my mistake," Jeff said. "It doesn't really matter anymore that we've been rivals because we were friends before anything else."
Catching up: If the season started today, Coach Bob Burt says Bryan Kellen would be in the starting lineup for the Northridge football team. And that's no small feat.
Kellen came to CSUN has a free safety, but two years ago was switched to wide receiver. The transition was a rough one. He dropped several passes but improved as the season progressed and finished strongly.
Then, at the beginning of last season, he was diving for a pass when he was hit in the knee while in mid-air. Kellen's leg wrapped around his opponent. And his knee was ripped apart.
But after major reconstructive surgery and months of rehabilitation, he is back to almost full health.
"It's been a long way back, and I still feel a step slower, but I'm up there," Kellen said after catching one pass for 18 yards in a full-contact scrimmage last Saturday. "I'm getting to the point where I can do things I used to do."
Free agent signs: Jeff Markland, a tight end from Pierce College and Illinois, signed a free-agent contract Wednesday with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Flat cats: Len Mohney isn't pushing the panic button just yet, but his College of the Canyons baseball team is giving some cause to worry.
The Cougars (26-5, 18-2 in the Western State Conference), who dropped a game to Bakersfield last week, tripped again Tuesday, losing to Glendale, 2-1.
"We're stumbling a little," said Mohney, whose team defeated Moorpark, 9-4, Wednesday. "'We're not playing bad ball, but we've been making people's seasons the last few times out."
Going into the Moorpark game, Canyons led the WSC Southern Division by five games with six to play.
Add Mohney: The coaching position at Northridge, which became available when Terry Craven resigned after four seasons, is attractive to Mohney. But the Canyons coach said he expects some heady, and probably overwhelming, competition from candidates with backgrounds at the Division I and Division II levels.
"I would think that's a darn good job," Mohney said. "I would feel real complimented if I even get an interview."
Hill joins the heap: Add another name to the list of baseball coaches interested in the opening at Northridge. Rich Hill, 25, of Cal Lutheran said he will decide whether to formally apply after he talks with Bob Hiegert, the CSUN athletic director. But he already views his chances as remote. "I wouldn't really give myself a great shot with all of the good people applying," Hill said.
Spanning the globe: Hiegert, who has been inundated with calls from prospective baseball coaches, said the university will conduct a nationwide search before deciding who will guide the baseball program.
"It's going to be interesting to see the names that come across my desk," Hiegert said.
One name that won't be on the desk, other than on his nameplate, will be Hiegert's.
The man whose 18-year coaching career at CSUN ended in 1984 with his second Division II title squelched the rumor that he would come out of retirement and become the Matador coach.
Asked if he was interested in coaching again, Hiegert said: "No, not here."
"I'm not considering that at the present time," Hiegert said. "For me to get back into baseball, it would have to be the perfect job and I don't see anything out there that's perfect for me right now."
Dynamic double: Don Strametz, CSUN's track coach, says sophomore Darcy Arreola is months away from being in peak racing form. Spectators at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut last weekend might disagree after Arreola's two stellar races.
Arreola, runner-up in the 800 and 1,500 meters at last year's NCAA Division II championships, placed ninth in the women's 3,000 meters Saturday night and second in the 1,500 on Sunday.
Her time of 9 minutes, 13.13 seconds in the 3,000 was a personal best by nearly 14 seconds and just missed the school record of 9:12.63 set by Sue Kinsey in 1978.
Arreola's time of 4:15.48 in the 1,500 on Sunday was a season best and only .13 of a second shy of her school record.
Arreola has qualified in the 1,500 meters for the Olympic Trials in Indianapolis in July.
CSUN track add: Several other Northridge athletes, including Vaughan Kastor, Robin Stinson and Heather Brookes, turned in Division II qualifying marks at Mt. SAC.
Kastor, the school record-holder in the 800 (1:49.89), moved to fifth on the all-time Northridge list in the 1,500 with a time of 3:49.16.
Stinson moved to fifth in the women's 400-meter hurdles (61.21) and Brookes, a Division II cross-country All-American in 1985, moved to sixth on the all-time Northridge list in the 10,000 (35:53.8).
Unusual ending: Valley College swimming standout Dale Hale had an unusual experience Friday in the Monarchs' Southern California Conference meet against visiting San Bernardino: He lost a freestyle race for only the second time this season.
His other loss came in a nonconference meet against Santa Monica.
Despite Hale's loss against San Bernardino, the Monarchs (7-1, 5-0) won the meet, 53-50, and clinched the SCC title. The Valley women's team, also 7-1 and 5-0 in conference meets, beat San Bernardino, 91-27, to win the conference championship.
It marked the first time that both Valley swim teams have won the conference title in the same year.
Staff writers Ralph Nichols, Mike Hiserman, Gary Klein, Lauren Peterson and John Ortega contributed to this notebook.