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With genes like his, Santa Margarita sophomore Jake Kyman’s athletic skills were a slam dunk

Santa Margarita sophomore Jake Kyman, along with mother Michelle and father Coley.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Coley Kyman, one of the best two-sport athletes in the history of Reseda High and CSUN, never forgets the day that changed his life: Sept. 4, 1993.

He was a three-time college All-American in volleyball. On that day, he started at quarterback for the Matadors’ football team against San Diego State and future Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk. Early in the fourth quarter, he suffered a broken right ankle and was taken off the field on a stretcher. The team lost, 34-17.

“I was just never the same,” Kyman said.

Gone went his dreams of playing in the Olympic Games. Gone went his NFL aspirations. Any regrets?

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“Zero,” he said. “I would not have met my wife.”

Michelle Mauney, a volleyball player at UCLA, met Kyman when they coached girls’ club volleyball after his injury. They’ve been married for 20 years. Their athletic genes and good parenting have produced one of the top sophomore basketball players in Southern California, 6-foot-7 Jake Kyman of Santa Margarita.

“He’s one of the better ones in the class throughout the state,” Santa Margarita Coach Jeff Reinert said.

Kyman is averaging 15 points and 6.2 rebounds a game while shooting 57% for the 19-6 Eagles.

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The younger Kyman said he is thrilled to benefit from having a mom and dad committed to helping him succeed while also letting him enjoy his own unique high school sports experience.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “They come to every game. They push me to work. Every day I’m in the gym getting better or working out, running, lifting. They know what it’s like to get to the next level, and they push me to get there.”

The parents and Kyman’s 10-year-old brother, Brayden, sit quietly in the bleachers, though the 6-foot-6 Coley can get pretty excited.

Kyman’s mother is a personal trainer and focuses on Jake’s eating habits and academics. His father never lifted weights in high school or college but has helped his son with other areas of training, mentally and physically. Most of all, they provide positive encouragement. They let the Santa Margarita coaching staff and other specialists work with their son without intervening.

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It comes as no surprise, because Kyman’s father, Bernie, was a longtime coach in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.

How good Jake becomes in basketball will depend on his yearly development.

“His athleticism is improving dramatically daily,” Reinert said.

Kyman put down a dunk at last week’s Nike Extravaganza that caused those who know his father and mother to ask which one gave him his jumping ability.

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The delicate answer is both, but everyone in the family knows that Michelle is the one who won an NCAA championship at UCLA in 1991 in women’s volleyball. Coley lost to UCLA in the NCAA final in 1993 in men’s volleyball.

“Believe me, they bring it up quite often,” Coley said. “If she has to get the ring to put it on, she will.”

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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Twitter: latsondheimer


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