Best Things Come in 3s for Jacobsen

TIMES STAFF WRITER

After the Jacobsen family moved to Montrose from Glendora, its first task was to get some cement and build a basketball court.

Its second was to paint a three-point line.

That done, Adam Jacobsen was really at home. He had a place to spend an hour a day shooting. Just shooting. Like he has done almost every day since second grade.

It shows.

Jacobsen, a senior guard for Crescenta Valley High, is the leading three-point shooter in Southern Section history with 318. Through Monday he had made 30 of 65 attempts from beyond the 19-foot 9-inch arc this season. On his other field-goal attempts he is 41 of 74 (55%) and from the free-throw line he has made 92% (71-77).

"He's incredible," teammate Brendon Cowsill said. "I've never seen a shooter like him."

Said Falcon forward Glenn Granz of Jacobsen's shooting: "I just watch the ball. I know it's going in."

Last week, Jacobsen made 14 three-pointers as part of a 106-point outburst in three games, helping Crescenta Valley to a championship in its own tournament.

Selected as the most-valuable player, Jacobsen scored 40--including five three pointers and 19-for-20 shooting from the free-throw line--in the Falcons' championship-game rout of previously unbeaten St. John Bosco.

"Everybody played about as good a game as we could have played," said Jacobsen, who signed with Pacific during the NCAA early signing period. "It was one of those games you dream about."

Coach John Goffredo could not believe the ease with which his team won. But then, since Jacobsen has shown up at Crescenta Valley, Goffredo has been surprised by a lot of things.

"Reading about him and only seeing him play in the (Southern Section) finals, I thought he was just going to be a three-point shooter," Goffredo said. "The things that he does other than score points are the things that amaze me. Not the five or six threes but the steals and the rebounds and the charges he takes.

"He's more or less a coach on the floor. His understanding of the game is incredible. He's like the perfect player."

Goffredo looks at Jacobsen sort of the way seismologists look at Southern California. Someday, the Big One is going to come. With Jacobsen, the Big One refers to a 50- or 60-point performance in which he makes 10 or 12 three-pointers.

"I've seen him make 24 of 25 in practice," Goffredo said. "One of these games he's just going to explode."

The chances of such a game have increased slightly this year since Goffredo has persuaded Jacobsen to shoot more.

"All through the summer that was our biggest gripe," Goffredo said of the frequency of Jacobsen's shots. "He's just so unselfish."

His shooting touch is fine-tuned with constant practice. "I try to go out there every night and shoot for about an hour," Jacobsen said of the concrete court outside his latest home, adding that he likes to shoot just before going to bed. "Pretty much my Dad has always pushed me to shoot every day since I was little."

The practice must have paid off because Jacobsen started as a freshman for the powerhouse team at Glendora. While at Glendora, Jacobsen played on Southern Section championship teams in 1990 and 1992.

But he transferred to Crescenta Valley over the summer for a variety of reasons, he said. He said he was unhappy with the way the Glendora coaches used him, and he was "uncomfortable" in the relationship he had with fellow guard Cameron Murray, the younger brother of former UCLA standout Tracy Murray.

But Jacobsen's transfer was not purely because of negative feelings about Glendora. He has roots at Crescenta Valley.

Jacobsen's uncle played for Goffredo in 1979. His mother is a Crescenta Valley graduate. He has so many aunts, uncles and cousins in the area that his relatives are worth an extra 20 fans at Falcon games.

"On a good night there are about 50 of them," Jacobsen said.

He brings a crowd with him to games, but for practice on his court at home he's alone. He said he doesn't usually even shoot with his brothers--Brock, a freshman on the Crescenta Valley varsity and 11-year-old Casey.

"It's kind of nice to be able to just have the whole court to yourself," he said, "to just think."

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