A few weeks after helping the Flintridge Prep boys' basketball team win the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA championship last season, Kory Hamane tore his left anterior and mediate cruciate ligaments while playing for his travel basketball team.
Surgery and nearly six months of rehabilitation followed, as Hamane missed the bulk of the boys' volleyball and all of the football season. Hamane didn't let the setback affect him once the basketball season began. In fact, Hamane came back stronger than ever.
While the Rebels didn't repeat as division champions, they did turn to Hamane to play a big role in winning the Prep League championship for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. Hamane averaged a team-high 15 points per game, en route to being named the league's most valuable player for the first time.
"It's definitely an honor and I'm overwhelmed," said Hamane, a senior guard who earned all-league first-team honors last season. "It means a lot and it defines how hard I had to work just to get back on track.
"It's just a great award. I didn't know if I would play for most of the season. I came back into the mix quickly. It was a bit rough at first, but then things came together slowly but surely."
Hamane also averaged 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game for Flintridge Prep, which finished 17-8, 9-0 in league before falling to Santa Clara in the first round of the playoffs.
Flintridge Prep Coach Garrett Ohara said Hamane took on many roles for the Rebels, putting him in position to pick up the accolade.
"It's four years of hard work and he came back from the injury because he was so dedicated to being that much stronger," Ohara said. "He stepped up his game that much more and he became the focus of other opponents.
"He's deserving of the award."
Hamane also earned a spot on the first team, where he was joined by teammates Robert Cartwright and Chadd Cosse. Jedrick Eugenio of Flintridge Prep was selected to the second team for the second season in a row.
Cartwright, a sophomore guard, was again a solid ballhandler and backcourt leader. He averaged 14 points and 3.8 assists per game. Cartwright, who earned a spot on the all-league second team last season, also showed improvement on defense, contributing 2.3 steals per game.
"He really improved defensively and he was always going up against the other teams' best player besides the centers," Ohara said.
Cosse registered 10 points and 7.7 rebounds per game during his first season at the varsity level. The junior forward finished with a 55% shooting percentage, helping the Rebels win several close contests in the beginning of the season.
"He got the big rebounds and we could always rely on his shooting," Ohara said. "He was very efficient with his shooting and he provided us with a strong inside presence."
Eugenio, a junior forward, averaged 10.5 points per game.
Ohara said Eugenio also provided the Rebels with a steady perimeter threat.
"He made 40% of his three-pointers and he had a low turnover rate," Ohara said. "He helped give us balanced scoring and he was consistent with his game."