Virgen's View: Coaches give back through camps

About every other day, Agustin Heredia will call his former basketball coach, Tim O'Brien, a man who impacted his life greatly.

Heredia, the Estancia High boys' basketball coach, enjoyed his days of playing basketball for O'Brien at Estancia, which he led to a CIF Southern Section title before graduating in 1990.

When he speaks to O'Brien now, they'll talk about concepts, or maybe the state of high school basketball.

"He's just a great guy," Heredia said of O'Brien, who now coaches at Northwood. "I think the world of him."

Heredia said he runs the same style and system O'Brien taught him.

Heredia says he hopes to have the same type of impact on those he coaches. He is one of several coaches who will be working at the Costa Mesa Summer Sports Camp, a four-week program that begins Monday at Estancia. He is also among those who coach at their alma mater, like Xavier Castellano (Estancia girls' basketball) and Paul Grady (Costa Mesa baseball).

The camp will include several sports such as football, basketball, volleyball soccer, softball tennis, cheer, baseball, track and field and wrestling for incoming fourth-graders through eight-graders within the Estancia and Costa Mesa high school zones.

The sports camp is free, yet the organizers are relying on donations to cover costs. The price for each camper can be up to $150. Many young athletes have enrolled in the sports camp because it is free.

There have been donations, but there remains a need for more, Estancia principal Kirk Bauermeister said. Those interested in supporting the camp can donate through Costa Mesa United at

Heredia said he has a lot of fond memories of camp at Estancia when he was a kid.

He said O'Brien was a former graduate assistant at Arizona State and managed to bring Byron Scott to a basketball camp at Estancia.

It was one of the many memories that strengthened the friendship and respect Heredia has for O'Brien.

Heredia said he really didn't realize the impact O'Brien made back then. Heredia feels it might be the same for kids today.

"As I've gotten older and matured, I realize what was done back then," Heredia said. "My hope is that they'll reflect on it and get some life lessons. It won't be tomorrow or the next day really, but maybe down the road."

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