Basketball: Statement from Muir coach Gamal Smalley

My story on Muir’s forfeit is being edited right now. As soon as it’s done I’ll post the detailed piece here. I spoke with Muir coach Gamal Smalley for about an hour, but I’m posting a statement he sent me earlier in the day. This is it in its entirety. Check back for the story later and in Monday’s Star-News.

I learned earlier in the week that our season was in jeopardy because of some administrative technicalities with regards to transfer papers on one of our student athletes. Though I was suffering from a week long fever, minor surgery, and a complete feeling of helplessness, trying to sleep at night was impossible since the sound of my heart beat felt like crashing symbols.By Friday’s game it was pretty clear that our entire team was affected by the troubling news, though we kept it to ourselves and gave it our best.

I share the hurt and disappointment with my student athletes and families who worked so hard to make this season such a memorable beacon of light for John Muir High Basketball. Our student body and alumni gave us tremendous support and we made such great strides this season with a 24-2 record, one of the best in school history. I will be forever grateful for the support and extremely proud of our team. This set back is deeply felt by our seniors who worked so hard to make the most out of their final season after last year’s climb to the CIF Championship game.

However I didn’t sign up to be the Muir Coach through good times only.This is a very sad and challenging time but I am here to help my seniors navigate through their college and career destinations.We can’t dwell on where we are now, who made initial complaints and why. We must turn our eyes to the future.I know Administration is making changes to assure safe guards so that nothing will ever fall through the cracks like this again. As for the underclassmen in our program, if you think we worked hard this year you haven’t seen anything yet. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves to make our program strong as ever. There is an old saying, that you can’t keep a good man down, well you can if he stays down. That’s not me, that’s not Muir, and we will rise from this.

Why, you ask? Cause that’s what we do!

Stangs 4Life!

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  • but…

    you may rise but you will be labled as a recruiting cheater…. funny I hadn’t heard that alleged quote till you posted it….. glad muir had to forfeit…. met smalley once and he was an A whole

  • Hal Lamaster

    As far as I know, school administrators take care of the paperwork required by the CIF.

    Coaches don’t. They coach.

    An ineligible transfer doesn’t just “fall through the cracks”, the administrators should have had his eligibility squared away before he was even allowed to set foot on the court for practice.

  • boomer mcgee

    Try keeping the underclassmen that are supposed to return from transferring out to disassociate from this embarrassment. GOOD LUCK on that Muir you all proved to be just a Muir illusion after all.

  • Dont judge

    You said you met Smalley once and he was an Ahole? So because of that, you hate the guy? It is because of people like you that basketball coaches get the run around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jayesupreme Jaye-$upreme

    To GOD be The GLORY and If You KNOW Gamal Smalley like I KNOW he’s far from being an A Hole but an GOD fearing 5 STAR COACH that John Muir High is BLESSED to Have. Keep Going Cousin and don’t let things that you can’t control hold you or your team down…JJ I’m Outro….2012

  • Anonymous

    Good Job Smalley real talk im a DOG but man you handled your business this year with those Stangs sad to see the season go down the drain like that but continue doing what you do best and thats coach. Get on the administration for making you look bad. Stangs still represent the city of Pasadena and they did that well this year CONGRATS coach on an awesome season “ITS GOTTA BE DENA FOR LIFE”

  • Stangs03

    dont even know where to begin! Stang nation definitely feels this one. Proud of these young men, and coach smalley for putting together a great season. But like coach said, you have to draw the positive outta this one. great lesson for the young men, before you play, you have to make sure that everything else is in order. its true in business, socially, and obviously sports. this definitely could’ve been prevented with a little more care and attention by all people. Andre is a stellar athlete who surely has the potential to go far, so at all cost make sure the paperwork, schoolwork, etc. is in line.

    Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but there sure are some first class idiots that leave comments on here. No wonder why the world is the way it is. Definitely weeds among the wheat, in terms of the way people think, and comment! No relevance to trying to help young men become something, or credit for those who do. Gamal took pride in his program, and had great results. things happen, and you just have to learn from it. The potential is there, and it doesnt deny the fact that these athletes performed at a high level. Great job young Stangs. Use this opportunity to build character! support your coach, your administration, the Mustang tradition. You young men did a great job of restoring confidence in a basketball program! I cannot stress it enough, use this adversity to rally, and improve each other. Iron sharpens iron!!! This is still Stangs territory!!!!! YOU KNOW!!!!!

  • http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org PASHOFPAL

    To all coaches in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley:

    Before your next season, regardless of sport, get confirmation from the school administration and CIF that ALL of your players are eligible or that there are NO PENDING ISSUES regarding eligibility. Your season, and your kid’s hard work and effort, may all be for NOTHING.

    Hold you heads high, Mustangs!

    Laurence Todd
    President
    http://www.pasadenasportshalloffame.org