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His Growing Pains Came on the Court : Division III-A: Dan Coady was once the whipping boy when he played against his older brothers. He holds his own now as Servite’s center.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The basket that hangs above the garage at Dan Coady’s home in Fullerton has been torn down three times during family dunking contests.

Some of the driveway pickup games between Coady and his three older brothers lasted well past dark.

Naturally, bragging rights in a family of talented athletes are at stake. So when Coady boldly stated, “The only time my brothers play against me is when they feel they’re getting old and want to prove something,” he quickly added, “I can take them now.”

It wasn’t always that way. Coady, a 6-foot-6 center at Servite High School, was once the whipping boy for his older brothers. Bob (Class of ’86) was the first member of the family to earn athletic honors at Servite and later played at the University of San Diego.

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“Bob started playing when he was a kid, and then everyone else just sort of followed him,” Coady said. Well, almost everyone.

Jim Coady played football at Troy and later played at the University of Nevada before a knee injury ended his career.

Mike (Class of ’90) was a starting forward for Servite’s State Division III championship team last year.

“I used to get my butt kicked quite a bit, but I think Bob is the only one who would give me trouble now,” Coady said. “He’ll probably read that and challenge me.”

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Coady’s three brothers, who once challenged him, will be rooting for him Saturday when Servite (22-6) meets top-seeded Morningside (27-3) in the Southern Section Division III-A boys’ championship at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Coady, the sixth man on last year’s State championship team, averages 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds and is shooting 61% from the field. He will play a big role in Servite’s upset bid against Morningside’s impressive front line.

“My job is rebounding and screening out,” Coady said. “They have one of the strongest front lines we’ve played against, so it’s going to be tough.

“This is a game I really want to win. Most people forget that we lost the Southern Section championship last year because we won the state.”

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Estancia beat Servite, 51-49, in the section title game, but Servite was selected to play in the Southern California regionals as an at-large entry. Servite upset Lemoore, Corona del Mar and Dos Pueblos to earn a trip to Oakland, where the Friars beat Mt. Eden, 67-51, for the state title.

Coady’s contribution was two free throws in the title game, but the experience left a lasting impression on him.

“The team grew up in the playoffs last year, and it’s showed this year,” Coady said. “We have so much more confidence now. You look at this team and nobody stands out, but the chemistry and experience is there.

“If nothing else, I’d like another shot at Estancia. It would be great if they won their division (III-AA) and we won ours and we got to play in the regionals.”

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If nothing else, Coady has left his mark at Servite, helping the Friars end a nine-year jinx against Mater Dei. Servite beat Mater Dei, 50-49, in Angelus League play and stopped a 16-game losing streak against the Monarchs.

“I’ve never been so pumped up after a game like I was when we beat Mater Dei,” Coady said. “That’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

“I had never come close to beating them on any level. (Center Mark) Moneypenny dominated me as a freshman, but things have changed.”


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