Bradley starting to give Sea Kings life

Marcus Bradley probably does not want his basketball coach to know what he is feeling in his final year of high school.

It happens to most seniors.

“I'm experiencing a little senioritis,” said Bradley, who is in a different situation than most of his senior classmates at Corona del Mar.

Bradley is in his first year at the school. The transfer from Beaumont might be able to get away with going through the motions in the classroom.

On the basketball court, he cannot coast anymore.

Coach Ryan Schachter will not tolerate it.

Eight games into Bradley's new season with the Sea Kings, Schachter has noticed a weakness. It has nothing to do with Bradley's natural talent.

The numbers are there for Bradley. He is averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. CdM is off to an impressive 6-2 start considering the schedule it has played so far.

The effort shown by the 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward is a different story.

“He still has not put a game together where he has put in the maximum effort from start to finish. He's just never been held accountable to do that,” Schachter said. “He's always gotten away with not having to do that. There's a lot you can get away with when you're the best player on a team that may not be at this caliber.”

CdM is Bradley's third high school in four years. He said he moved into the area to live with his grandparents, Jim and Joan Hauke, not because of basketball. The CIF State office approved Bradley's hardship appeal in September, ruling him athletically eligible to play this season.

Unlike his previous two stops, Beaumont and Redlands East Valley, the Sea Kings have a legit program.

The Sea Kings plan to not only win the Pacific Coast League, but also contend for a CIF Southern Section Division III-AA title this season. Schachter said they are going to need Bradley to make a run at the program's sixth section crown in school history.

The playoffs in CdM's new division are two months away. The Sea Kings moved up a division, with the likes of Price of Los Angeles, Serra of Gardena and Lutheran of La Verne, the Division IV-AA, Division III-A and Division V-AA champions last season, respectively.

Division III-AA is considered by many to be the toughest outside of the largest in the section, Division I-AA.

Bradley has the kind of abilities to lead CdM to its first section championship game since Schachter's first season at the school in

2006-07. The energy needs a boost, the kind that will bode well for the Sea Kings and Bradley's college prospects.

Recruiters want to see what Bradley is capable of every time he plays.

“For Marcus to play at a Division I level [school], his biggest thing is he has to learn how to compete at the highest level possible,” Schachter said. “For me, that's his biggest area of need at this point. It's learning how to just put his engine in sixth gear and go nonstop.”

At times, Bradley has displayed signs of an unstoppable player. If he has the ball deep in the paint, he can rise in a hurry and throw one down.

Bradley dunked his way last week to his best performance of the season. In the Sea Kings' opening game at the Ocean View Tournament of Champions, Bradley went off for 32 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, as CdM beat a talented team in Clovis West of Fresno, 86-84. He scored 22 in the first half on nine-of-10 shooting.

The Sea Kings went on to the semifinals of the tournament, their second semis appearance at a major tournament. CdM wound up losing to Loyola of Los Angeles, 62-40, falling to the third-place game. Schachter was irate about the Sea Kings' lack of interest in the game against Loyola.

Bradley heard his coach loud and clear.

“After Loyola, we were mad about how we played,” said Bradley, who responded, along with his teammates, the next day to beat Crespi of Encino, 55-45. “[Schachter] did [call us out]. I heard about it a lot. He called me out a lot.”

Without Bradley, Schachter said the Sea Kings are not 6-2, not with the stiff competition they have faced.

“He covers a lot of our weaknesses,” Schachter said. “When we have a bad play or we don't execute well [on offense], we can still get a score out of it by him just getting an offensive rebound or him just making shots that we may not otherwise make.

“To be honest, the team's making a bigger impact on him. He's learned a lot. He's learning what it takes to be on a championship-caliber team.

“For a kid that has a lot to learn, and is averaging 20 [points] and 10 [rebounds], it says something. He's come a long ways and he has a long ways to go.”

Marcus Bradley

Hometown: Anaheim

Born: May 11, 1993

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 210 pounds

Sport: Basketball

Position: Forward

Coach: Ryan Schachter

Favorite food: In-N-Out Burger

Favorite movie: "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy"

Favorite athletic moment: "I had a real nice tip-in dunk against Capistrano Valley [on Dec. 1]."

Week in review: Helped the Sea Kings place third at the Ocean View Tournament of Champions.

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