STILL WORTH WATCHING : Five Years Later, These Athletes Are Fulfilling Their Early Promise : Schea Cotton


Most of Cotton’s career has been a trail of confusing rumors, innuendo and excuses. That path, however, has also included some incredible, I-can’t-believe- I’m-watching- a-high- school-player performances.

He was the talk of the Parochial Athletic League when he was a muscular, 6-foot, 180-pound sixth-grader. After helping Mater Dei win consecutive Southern Section titles, including the state Division I championship as a sophomore in 1995, Cotton abruptly pulled up stakes. He moved with his family to Long Beach last spring, and re-entered St. John Bosco. Cotton had left St. John Bosco five games into his freshman year to transfer to Mater Dei.

Today, Cotton, a junior, isn’t playing basketball at all. He broke his hand a month ago and is out indefinitely.


With Cotton back in the fold, St. John Bosco got off to an 8-0 start this fall. But the team stumbled badly, losing two games at a highly respected prep basketball tournament in Las Vegas in late December. Without Cotton, the tailspin has continued. The Braves are fighting to stay above .500.

There’s speculation Cotton may never play in high school again, that he might attempt to graduate early, or sit out his senior year, then join older brother, James, at Long Beach State.

The younger Cotton has made his feelings known. One way or another, he told a reporter in Las Vegas, “the NBA is definitely in my future.”