Bradley made most of it

Marcus Bradley was not supposed to play at Corona del Mar High this past boys' basketball season.

The senior moved into the area to live with his grandparents in June. He said the move away from his parents in Beaumont was for personal reasons.

Three months later, the CIF Southern Section thought Bradley's move was for personal gains on the court.

The section ruled Bradley athletically ineligible, believing the transfer to CdM, his third school in four years, was athletically motivated. Without basketball, the 6-foot-6 forward said he was unsure what he would do.

Bradley's grandfather, Jim Hauke, spoke up. Hauke, who also became Bradley's guardian, appealed the denial through the CIF State office.

Bradley is thankful grandpa had his back. The state approved Bradley's hardship appeal two months before the start of the season.

With the opportunity to play again, Bradley made the most of it. Bradley turned in the best season of any of the local players, earning him the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year award.

Bradley was a highlight reel, attacking the basket at will. Not many stood a chance at slowing him down when he touched the ball in the paint.

The No. 1 on the back of Bradley's jersey was there for a reason. He was the Sea Kings' go-to player and he delivered, a averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

And Bradley performed in what one can argue was the toughest nonleague schedule in the state.

The Sea Kings played elite programs, Long Beach Poly, the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA champion, Loyola of Los Angeles, the Division I-A champion, Capistrano Valley, the Division I-A runner-up, Taft of Woodland Hills, the Los Angeles City Section Division I champion, Westchester of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles City Section Division I runner-up, and Lutheran of La Verne and Crespi of Encino, semifinalists in the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA and Division III-A playoffs, respectively.

After helping CdM win a share of the Pacific Coast League title, Bradley led the program to a respectable run in the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoffs, considered the toughest division behind the biggest, Division I-AA. The Sea Kings lost a close one at Lutheran, 53-49.

Ending the season with a loss was disappointing for Bradley and the Sea Kings (19-10, 8-2 in league), who believed they could contend for a section crown. The ride in the postseason resulted in Bradley advancing past the first round for the first time.

He wanted more. The Sea Kings' fans wanted to see more of him.

Most who watched Bradley saw an exciting player, who leaped to block shots, grab offensive rebounds, and fly past defenders and dunk the ball. Coach Ryan Schachter always marveled at the athleticism. And he expects sheer talent will lead to Bradley getting more interest from colleges than just from the University of New Hampshire and Montana State.

But it was how Bradley developed in his only season at CdM that impresses Schachter the most. There is a reason why Bradley shared the Pacific Coast League MVP award and received All-CIF laurels.

Bradley became a fierce competitor, giving his all on the court. A second chance at playing basketball in his final high school year meant the world to Bradley.

The following is the rest of the players on the Dream Team:

Danny Cheek

Corona del Mar

Senior shooting guard was the most athletic and explosive player in the area. For the second straight season, the 6-foot-4 Cheek led the Sea Kings to a Pacific Coast League championship and the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoffs. The Northern Arizona University-bound Cheek averaged 15 points per game and earned first-team All-Pacific Coast League honors. During the prestigious Holiday Classic in San Diego, he made the all-tournament, averaging 19 points per game against some of the elite programs in the state. Cheek is a three-time Dream Team pick.


Clayton Ragsdale

Corona del Mar

Senior point guard was the floor general for the Sea Kings, making them the top team in the area. The 6-foot-2 Ragsdale battled through a toe injury at the beginning of the season and then a viral infection late and still performed at a high level. Ragsdale recorded a triple-double, 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the Sea Kings' 64-54 victory against Compton at the Holiday Classic.

He averaged 11 points and seven assists per game and earned first-team All-Pacific Coast League honors. Ragsdale is a two-time Dream Team pick.


Davon Joyner


Senior small forward was one of the most versatile players in the area with his ability to play anywhere on the court with his 6-foot-4 size. Joyner earned a share of the Orange Coast League MVP award after keeping the Eagles in contention for a league title for most of the season. He averaged 16.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. He helped Estancia finish second in league and claim the Battle for the Bell against Costa Mesa for the fourth consecutive season. Joyner is a two-time Dream Team pick.


Cody Caldwell

Newport Harbor

Senior power forward developed into a go-to player and kept the Sailors competitive in five of their games in the robust Sunset League. The 6-foot-6 Caldwell matched a season-high 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Newport Harbor's lone league win, coming against Fountain Valley in the second-to-last contest of the regular season. He averaged 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and earned first-team All-Sunset League honors. Caldwell, one of the top volleyball players in the nation, is the second member of his family to make the Dream Team in four seasons.


Andrew Albers

Costa Mesa

Senior center quickly made the transition from football to basketball and led the Mustangs to the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Albers used his 6-foot-8, 285-pound frame to well in the post, making players think twice about driving to the basket.

He averaged 12.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and one steal per game and earned first-team All-Orange Coast League honors. Albers, who will play football at Utah, is the first athlete to earn Dream Team honors in football and basketball since the 2007-08 season.

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