Former Chino Hills coach Steve Baik enjoying new gig

I had to chance to speak with former Chino Hills boys basketball coach Steve Baik as his new school, Los Angeles Fairfax, took on Santa Margarita in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei. His game wrapped up five or so hours before Chino Hills took the court and he wasn’t sure of he was going to stick around that long.

Baik was the Huskies head coach last year when they went 35-0 and were first in everyone’s national poll but resigned after the season, later taking the job at Fairfax. which is closer to his home in Altadena.

He says he is still in regular touch with new coach Stephan Gilling, an assistant on his staff whom he recommended for the position. And he has exchanged texts with the players.

He has seen the Huskies on a few occasions, including when they played a non-league game at Crespi.

“I still have special feelings for those guys. It’s hard not to miss them,” he said. “I have great respect for the Ball family and the work ethic of those kids, as well as Eli (Scott) and O (Onyeka Okongwu) and it was nice to be part of something special last year.”

Baik’s Fairfax team is 21-3 and a sure bet to be included in the Open Division for the City Section playoffs. The record is even more noteworthy because leading scorer Ethan Anderson had been out with a knee injury. He is expected back for the playoffs.

He says the top teams in the City section are comparable to those in the Southern Section but acknowledges the Southern Section had more depth.

“You have teams like Westchester and Birmingham that are as good as anyone,” he said. “In the Southern Section you have more teams of that level though.”

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Steve Baik talks about transition from Chino Hills to LA Fairfax

Steve Baik, head coach for Chino Hills boys basketball, led the team to an unbeaten season, and a CIF state championship, has resigned as head coach. (Staff file photo/Southern California News Group)

Steve Baik admits when he stepped down as basketball coach at Chino Hills earlier this month he thought about not coaching. You can’t do much better than what his team did last year – undefeated, national championship.

And he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two sons.

Then Los Angeles Faifax coach Harvey Kitani, a close friend of his, called and told him he was going to step down there to take a position at Rolling Hills Prep and the door was open there. It was an opportunity Baik could not pass up.

“With the program and tradition they have there it is a great opportunity,” he said, talking about the new position for the first time. “I am going to keep the staff there that is already in place. Will be a great place to just worry about coaching basketball.”

Baik lives in Altadena not far off the 2 freeway and says the commute has been cut in half so the job does get him a little closer to home.

With Chino Hills and Fairfax both likely being in the Open Division again next year his new team could be facing his old team. He thinks they’ll likely meet in summer play along the way too and says he will be the Huskies No. 1 fan when the teams are not playing each other.

“I’m going to miss all those kids and I wish nothing but the best for them. I love them like sons,” Baik said. “I’m going to be their biggest fan.”

News of his appointment broke on Friday, a few hours before the Huskies were presented national championship mementos from both MaxPreps and USA Today. He didn’t want to talk about the new job then and take away from the attention he wanted on his now former players.

Baik had been with the Huskies for nine years, the last six of those as head coach.
With all the festivities honoring his team taking place Baik acknowledges there was never going to be a “good” time to resign or announce a new position which is also why he considered not coaching the next school year.

“Opportunities like this don’t come around often,” he said. “I felt like I had to jump at it but will always be grateful for my time at Chino Hills.”

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Chino Hills boys basketball team collects honors: Baik confirms new job

The undefeated and national champion Chino Hills boys basketball team was honored in festivities at the school’s football stadium Friday night.

Representatives from MaxPreps were on hand to present the Huskies their national championship trophy with coach Steve Baik, who resigned two weeks ago, accepting on behalf of the team.

USA Today, another of the outlets that crowned the Huskies national champion, presented a banner.

The Huskies went 35-0, winning CIF Open Division honors and going on to win a state title as well.

They scored 100 points or more 18 times and won every playoff game by 20 points or more. That kind of dominant effort has most basketball experts putting the Huskies among the best high schools teams ever assembled.

Lonzo Ball, the lone senior on the squad, was presented an award for being named National Player of the Year.

Younger brother LaMelo and Onyeka Okongwu were joint recipients of the Freshman of the Year honor. Okongwu was not on hand but LaMelo collected his award.

Baik confirmed that he had just accepted the head coaching position at Los Angeles Fairfax High School but didn’t want to comment on that and take attention away from his team.


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Chino Hills coach Steve Baik issues statement on resignation


Photo published for Chino Hills basketball coach Steve Baik resigns after storybook season

Chino Hills boys basketball coach Steve Baik has resigned after a 35-0 record and national championship.

Here is his statement on that decision:

It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as the Head Coach of the Chino Hills Boys Basketball team. This is the most difficult decision that I have ever had to make in my coaching career. Although the timing may be questioned, my reasons are completely related to my personal life.

This decision will allow me to prioritize my family and to be more present as a husband and father, specifically in the lives of my two young boys. Therefore, I am pursuing options that will allow me to work closer to home.

I have had the privilege of coaching some of the most incredible student-athletes at CHHS, and it goes without saying that this past season was the most special to me.

It has been such a blessing to work with amazing people such as my coaching staff, the faculty, and for Principal Brenes at Chino Hills High School. The support from the community and families has been incredible. I am particularly grateful to the Ball family for their trust in me over the past four years. They have also continued to support me in making this decision and I am thankful that our friendships will continue.

I will greatly miss the opportunity to coach these players through the rest of their high school careers, particularly Gelo and Eli as upcoming seniors, and Melo and Onyeka who will lead the charge thereafter. This is truly difficult for me as I have grown to deeply respect and love these boys as family.

I am confident this group will continue to have great success. I am so proud of all that was accomplished and I will be forever grateful for my time at Chino Hills High.

And here is link to news story.


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Ball lands fourth national award, Baik chosen for All-Star game

Chino Hills senior guard Lonzo Ball has landed a fourth national player of the year award, this one coming from MaxPreps.

Ball led the Huskies to a 35-0 record, the Open Division state title and a No. 1 national ranking. The UCLA signee averaged a triple-double in doing so and was the central figure on a dynamic and entertaining team most are putting among the best high school teams ever.

Here is the link to the MaxPreps announcement of that honor:

Ball landed the Naismith and Wooten player of the years earlier this month, along with the honor doled out by USA Today.

In other Chino Hills news, Huskies coach Steve Baik has been selected to coach in the BallIsLife All-Star game to be played April 30 at Long Beach City College. Ball will also play in that game which will be his last wearing a high school uniform.

The other coach for that game will be Josh Giles of Corona Centennial.

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Here’s what Huskies’ basketball coach Steve Baik says about Nnamdi Okongwu

Today we lost a significant member in our community. Nnamdi Okongwu was heading into his senior year at Chino Hills High and was one of the best basketball players in California. Tragically, he lost his life due to a head injury while skateboarding.

I feel it is my privilege to recognize and honor one of the most special individuals I have ever known. I loved him for his amazing heart as a person.

This past Friday, Nnamdi had a break from summer school, so he spent his day helping kids at our Summer Basketball Camp. He will be remembered for his amazing, God-given talents. As a basketball player, he had unbelievable natural skills and potential. (He was being recruited by several Division 1 Colleges)

He just loved people and was at his best just being a son, a brother, a friend and a teammate. I would sometimes ask him about his family, and he would always light up talking about them. He often bragged that his younger brothers were going to be better basketball players than him. I could always sense that he was so proud of being a big brother to his siblings and a son to such loving and hard working parents.

Although we cannot comprehend why this has happened to such a special individual, all we know is that Nnamdi was like a seed planted in this world that brought us so much love and joy. His physical life may have ended today, but his legacy as a person will carry on. We will not shrink back and fear because of an accident like this.

We may have lost Nnamdi in this life, but it is only temporary. We will look forward to have eternity with him one day. We will not fear death. We will not fear life.

We will move forward and become better for having known someone so special. We will have a greater love for those around us by being better coaches, parents, sons and daughters, better friends and better teammates.

We will always remember Nnamdi’s big smile and will look forward to seeing it again one day. Our loss today is Heaven’s gain, and we look forward to seeing you again Nnamdi!

With all of our love,

Coach Baik and Your Chino Hills Family

Please support Nnamdi’s family now by donating to them at:

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