Burbank High's Sa'Dullah gets share of Pacific League Player of the Year

After moving from the Las Vegas area last summer, Yazzy Sa’Dullah had little difficulty adjusting to the culture Burbank had to offer.

What she found very appealing was playing for the Burbank High girls’ basketball team. It didn’t take long for Sa’Dullah to make an impression after trying out for the team during the first week of school in August.

After meeting Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden, she made a favorable impression on the Bulldogs following the first practice session.

“We had a five-on-five session and you could see she was quite a player within about five minutes,” Breeden said. “I know she left an impression on the other coaches in the league, too.”

The rest of the Pacific League found out immediately about Sa’Dullah’s talent. She averaged 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.3 steals per contest en route to being named the league’s co-player of the year with Crescenta Valley’s Ella Stepanian, as voted on by the league’s eight coaches.

Sa’Dullah helped Burbank finish 18-11 and 10-4 in league for third place. The Bulldogs advanced to the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division I-A playoffs before falling to Knight.

Though the Bulldogs’ playoff run was cut short, Breeden said they found a standout in the versatile Sa’Dullah on both ends of the court.

“She came in as a point guard and then we had to move her over to small forward and it was a pretty easy transition,” Breeden said. “She helped out in a lot of areas.

“I respect the other coaches acknowledging her like that.”

Sa’Dullah said she was pleased to receive the accolade.

“It means a lot to me to come into a new school and be recognized like that,” said Sa’Dullah, a junior forward. “I adjusted very quickly and it was a great experience.

“Getting this award will mean even more going into my senior year. “

Seven other Burbank-area players were bestowed with league recognition.

Among those named to the first team were Paula Galicia and Davina Del Castillo of Burroughs, which won the league championship and reached the Division I-A quarterfinals. Earning spots on the second team were Jakarra Waddell and Sydney Ortega of Burroughs and Burbank’s Sharis Ghazeri.

Galicia, a senior point guard, averaged 7.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest. Del Castillo, a junior guard/forward, averaged 9.4 points, 10 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 3.6 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. Burroughs finished 24-7 and 14-0 before losing to Huntington Beach in the postseason.

Burroughs Coach Vicky Oganyan, who was named the league’s coach of the year, said Galicia and Del Castillo flourished when needed to help the Indians win league for the second season in a row.

“Paula made some big baskets in league, especially to get us back in the game or tying it up,” Oganyan said. “She was that kind of clutch player.

“Davina missed four or five games with an ankle injury, but she led us in most categories and could be counted on to also make some big shots.”

Waddell, a senior forward, averaged 6.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.5 steals per contest. Ortega, a senior guard, averaged 10 points per game.

Ghazeri, a senior guard, averaged 7.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest.

Earning honorable mention were Burbank senior guard Ratiana Karapet (4.9 points and 1.2 steals per game) and Burroughs junior guard Delaney Nicol (3.8 points and 3.1 assists per contest).

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