Etiwanda’s Jordan Naughton chooses Wyoming

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Etiwanda High School basketball standout Jordan Naughton has committed to NCAA Division I Wyoming.

The 6-foot-9 center helped the Eagles to a Baseline League title and spot opposite Mater Dei in the CIF Open Division semifinals.

With the Eagles having graduated their top two players in Jordan McLaughlin and Kenny Barnes, Naughton will likely have a bigger role the coming season.

 

Former college All-American Larry Gordon organizing alumni game

Former Cal Poly Pomona All-American basketball standout Larry Gordon is organizing a fund-raiser for his alma mater Montclair High School.

It will feature Gordon and others who played for the Cavaliers from 2001 to 2013.

It will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at the school. Admission is $3 with proceeds going toward the boys basketball program.

Claire Dietrich of Los Osos commits to Cal State East Bay

Volleyball player Claire Dietrich of Los Osos High School has committed to NCAA Division II Cal State East Bay.

Dietrich, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter, helped the Grizzlies to a 26-12 record and second-place showing in the Baseline League last year as a junior. She is expected to play a more major role this year as a senior with the Grizzlies having graduated three Division I hitters.

East Bay was 11-19 overall and 7-15 in CCAA play. The Pioneers are the newest member of the conference, having made the move from Division III a couple of years ago.

Fundraiser for Nnamdi Okongwu’s family coming up

The community efforts to help the family of former Chino Hills basketball player Nnamdi Okongwu are ongoing. Okongwu, 17, passed away last month after sustaining a head injury while skateboarding.

A bingo fundraiser will be held at 1 p.m., Sunday  in the small gym at Chino Hills High School.

Also a fundraiser at Roscoes Famous Deli in Chino Hills Thursday, August 7th 11am- to closing. Roscoe’s will donate 15% of your purchase to the family fund.

Donations are also being taken at www.gofundme.com/4unnamdi

Donnie Greene of Upland headed to Fresno State

Upland High School offensive lineman Donnie Greene has made a verbal commitment to Fresno State. He visited the school earlier this week and made his commitment on the spot.

“It really seemed like a close-knit family with the players and coaches. I really liked that,” he said.

Greene, who will make the move from left tackle to center this year, said he also liked the community involvement in the football program as well as the fact its relatively close to home. The fact that the Bulldogs run a high-tempo offense is also a plus.

“Football is a big part of the community three,” he said. “The whole town is focused on it so its a great atmosphere.”

Greene is a four-year varsity player. He transferred from Victor Valley to Upland the second semester of his freshman year.

He is the fourth Upland player to commit to a Division I school before the season has even started. Greene also visited USC, Cal and San Jose State. He also went to Utah on an unofficial trip with a former teammate two years ago.

Greene plans to major in kinesiology with emphasis on exercise science.

Upland’s Josh Woods decides on UCLA

Upland High School outside linebacker Josh Woods has made a verbal commitment to UCLA. He also visited USC and was considering trips to Boise State and Arizona as well.

He had a handful of other offers too – Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State, Boise State and Nevada.

“I wanted to stay close so my family and friends could come see me play,” he said. “t will be a great education and I really like the campus, the coaching staff, the players and what the program has to offer.”

Woods, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, transferred from Victor Valley High School after his sophomore year but was ruled ineligible by the CIF last year so he had to sit out.

He never lost faith that would prove costly. What most likely helped was Woods’ showing at a handful of camps and combines. He participated in the Army All-American Combine in Texas as well as one sponsored by Rivals at Fullerton College and the Nike Football Training Combine at Redondo Union High School.

Having to sit out last year has only served as more incentive for Woods this year, The Highlanders are expected to be one of the best teams in the Inland Empire with two others who have already committed to Pac 12 schools in quarterback Tyler Hilinski and defensive back Kameron Powell.

Etiwanda baseball standout Kyle Isbel commits to UNLV

Etiwanda High School infielder Kyle Isbel has made a verbal commitment to UNLV

He also visited a number of Division I schools including USC, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge but decided he’d take the option out of state.

“I like the atmosphere there and the new facilities,” he said. “I spent a lot of time with the coaches and got to talk to some of the players and it seemed like a great fit.”

It helped that Isbel has another good friend going there in Austin Pritchard of Riverside J.W. North who has also committed to the school.

Isbel hit .347 with seven doubles and 14 RBI as a junior for the Eagles, earning second team All-Baseline League honors. He plans to major in business or sports medicine.

UNLV finished first in the Mountain West Conference last year. The team was 36-25 overall and 20-10 in conference play.

 

Hailey Freeman of Etiwanda headed to Grand Canyon

 

Etiwanda High School softball standout Hailey Freeman (left) has made a verbal commitment to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz.

Grand Canyon had been an NCAA Division II school but recently made the jump to Division I and has forked a lot of money into new athletic facilities.

Freeman, a third baseman who will be a junior in the fall, helped the Eagles to a second place showing in the Baseline League last spring as a sophomore.

She picked that school over Northeastern State and Southern Utah, after visiting the campus last week. It also helps that good friend and teammate Megan Stevens is also going to that school. The two have been playing on the same team since they were 8 years old.

“I was going to wait to decide until maybe the end of my junior year but I really liked it when I went to visit,” she said.

She plans to major in criminal justice or forensics.

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: www.gofundme.com/4unnamdi

Chino Hills basketball player in bad shape after skateboard accident

Chino Hills High School basketball player Nnamdi Okongwu is in a hospital after a skateboarding accident left him in a coma.

Huskies basketball coach Steve Baik was on vacation in Hawaii when notified of the accident in a text from his athletic director so he knew few details.

The 6-foot-9 center, who will be a senior in the fall, was an integral factor in the Huskies Sierra League title and postseason run. The honorable mention All-Inland Valley selection helped the Huskies to a spot in the Southern Section Open Division championship game where they lost to nationally ranked No. 1 Mater Dei at the Honda Center.

Chino Hills played in the state portion of the playoffs in Division I and made the South Region championship before losing to Corona Centennial at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena.