Meet Erik Ginsburg, Sierra Canyon’s underrated star and 12-year-old manager

Sierra Canyon 12-year-old team manager Erik Ginsburg speeds off the court after mop-up duty.
Sierra Canyon High’s 12-year-old team manager Erik Ginsburg speeds off the court after mopping up moisture during Friday night’s game at Crespi.
(Luca Evans / Los Angeles Times)
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You’ve heard about Bronny James. You’ve heard about Ashton Hardaway. You’ve heard about Isaiah Elohim, about Sierra Canyon boys’ basketball and the bevy of stars in a traveling troupe that ignites crowds wherever they go.

Friday night against Crespi, no star was brighter than Erik Ginsburg.

He brought grit. Heart. Hustle. He was perfect from the floor. He gave the Crespi gym and deafening student section a spark of energy whenever play lagged in a grimey 64-47 Trailblazers win. And then he went viral courtesy of a tweet from, his blazing speed drawing a big smile from none other than LeBron James courtside.

Ginsburg is a 12-year-old team manager.

When Crespi’s stuffy gym left moisture on the floor repeatedly Friday night, stopping play at least five separate occasions, Ginsburg was there sprinting across the floor to dive on his knees and scrub the hardwood with a Gatorade towel. In the midst of a blowout, suddenly Ginsburg was the main attraction.


A buzz grew every time a whistle would blow and the glasses-wearing seventh-grader would come careening from behind Sierra Canyon’s bench, mop up the mess, come back and excitedly slap the hands of a cheering Trailblazers bench. By his final appearance in the fourth quarter, he’d drawn more applause than any player on the court.

Gregg and Susan, his parents, said Erik wanted to do more to volunteer entering his seventh-grade year. They didn’t expect that meant working with the basketball team. But he’s played a crucial role in the 18-3 Trailblazers’ success, putting up incredible season stats in waters handed out and floor-mopping efficiency.

He drew in-game daps from Bronny James and point guard Dylan Metoyer, and senior Osiris Nalls Jr. was there with a big smile post-game.

“Friends for life,” Ginsburg said with a wide grin of the Trailblazers.

One of Ginsburg’s favorite memories of the year — the very first game against King/Drew, when he rushed over to mop the court and remembered Bronny James coming over and giving him a dap.

“He respects everyone,” Ginsburg said of James. “I just look at him as a friend.”

Ginsburg has big dreams — he wants to attend MIT. If he tackles his studies with the same aplomb as his Sierra Canyon duties, the sky’s likely the limit.