Posts Tagged ‘Mater Dei High School’

NBA Types Weren’t First To Miss On Lin

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Jeremy Lin‘s underdog story has been well documented recently, with the Knicks star rising from relative (or perhaps complete) obscurity to the first name on the minds of NBA fans everywhere in roughly one week of action.

But we’re here today to take the heat off of NBA scouts, coaches and executives who missed on Lin coming out of Harvard. All they did was continue a trend started by their college counterparts.

Mark Viera of The New York Times tells an intriguing tale of a player that has embodied the underdog role from the very start, and we’re talking about all the way back to his high school days:

The story of Lin’s college recruitment illustrates how talent evaluators overlooked his ability even when Lin was young. It is something that was repeated in the professional ranks as he moved from Golden State to Houston to New York, where he has infected Knicks fans with Linsanity, becoming a sensation over five transcendent games.

… All of that would have been hard for some college coaches to have predicted while watching film of Lin as a skinny, average-shooting guard at Palo Alto High School, even though he was a standout for the modest program, leading it to a 32-1 record and an upset of the powerhouse Mater Dei in the 2006 California Division II championship game.

“He was a good student, a good player and, yeah, it’s amazing what he was doing,” said Steve Donahue, now the coach at Boston College, said in a recent telephone interview. “But he didn’t look that athletic and he didn’t shoot it all that well. Even after his freshman year at Harvard, you didn’t give it a second thought that we made a mistake.”

Now we’re not suggesting that Lin’s surprising rise is cause for a complete restructuring of the scouting process. It’s going to take more than one stunner to do that.

But it should be a lesson to college recruiters and NBA scouts alike, to trust more than the measurables when evaluating talent. If nothing else, Lin will make them pause the next time they see a guy that doesn’t fit the mold.

Browns Making Adjustment To LA

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The workday pressures Lakers coach Mike Brown faces these days must pale in comparison to the pressures he deals with at home.

Sure, replacing legendary coach Phil Jackson and coaching future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant raises the blood pressure a little bit. But Brown isn’t living in a work-only vacuum. He’s got another shooting guard at home, his teenage son Elijah, a junior at Mater Dei High School, demanding his attention as well.

Much like his father, Elijah Brown is making the transition from Cleveland to Los Angeles, and from his former high school to a new one in Southern California. Talk about pressure!

In a business where the basketball bond between father and son is as sacred as it can be temperamental, depending on the father and son, the Brown’s had the added pressure of moving across the country to embrace the new challenges faced by the entire family (which includes Brown’s wife Carolyn and younger son Cameron).

Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register offers a fantastic look inside the complex but rewarding relationship between the Lakers’ new coach and his oldest son and the basketball bond that has helped strengthen their connection.

It’s a must-read. Here’s a snippet:

Having a famous basketball father is great on one level but not necessarily a picture-perfect family album. Like Bryant and Walton, Elijah Brown feels a natural closeness with the parent who has been there, inside and outside the gym.

“I’ve been playing basketball since about 3,” Elijah said. “With basketball comes my dad. In that sense, my dad and I have been extra close. But he has also been traveling my whole life, and we haven’t had the same amount of time that I’ve had with my mom.

“Me and my mom have a certain relationship together; we’ve just been together my whole life. My dad’s the one who is always on me about my basketball, especially. I’m close with my parents in different ways.”