By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
LA PUENTE - The buzz at Workman High School hasn’t been the same since highly-touted guard Cezar Guerrero decided to pack up and head back to St. John Bosco. Guerrero, who won a state appeal to become eligible at Workman last season after transferring from St. John Bosco, is all over YouTube because of his incredible ball-handling skills and no-look passes. To continue click thread
But after averaging 27 points and helping the Lobos to a 20-6 record and Montview League title, Guerrero returned to St. John Bosco, where he is sitting out his junior season rather than file another transfer request.
If that wasn’t a big enough blow to the Lobos, exceptional role-playing seniors Andrew Flores and Carlos Molina have been unavailable because of torn ACL’s.
In fact Flores, nicknamed Lobo, had been playing on a torn ACL in his left knee the past two years, and now has a torn right ACL to go along with it.
“Lobo has been a medical miracle,” Workman coach Martin Flores said. “He’s a rebounder who plays with a lot of heart, but nobody can play with two bad knees. The second (right knee) injury was ugly, his (knee) bent so bad it looked like that Joe Theisman injury.”
Gritting his teeth and persevering through it all has been senior Bobby Miles-Serrano, a 6-foot-2 wing player who many thought was more than just Guerrero’s sidekick last season, but rather the difference-maker because of his ability to attack the basket and get rebounds.
Miles-Serrano has been the focal point of opposing defenses, he still has managed to average a valley-best 27 points and 12 rebounds.
“What separates Bobby is his basketball IQ and willingness to work,” Flores said. “There are other guys that are quicker and jump higher, but Bobby understands the team aspect of it all, how to get teammates involved, when to shoot, when to pass, and when he needs to take over the game.
“He would be a great player on any team and any system because he just gets it, and is as humble as can be.”
Even with all the team setbacks, the Lobos (6-8, 3-1) are still in the thick of the Montview League title hunt, pulling into a three-way tie for first along with La Puente and Workman following a 57-54 victory over Gladstone Wednesday night.
That’s a credit to Miles-Serrano, who instead of trying to carry the team on his back, has instead made everyone a part of the ride.
“Bobby is an exceptional kid,” Flores said. “He’s handled everything with grace and dignity, whether it was CJ (Cezar) leaving, or having to adjust when our two horses (Molina and Flores) went down.
“He took it upon himself to incorporate the new guys, making them feel they’re just as important to the team as he is. When you do that, it shows your teammates what a great leader you are and they follow.
“You know, most of his points aren’t one-on-one, they come from his teammates setting picks and helping him into situations where he can score.
“As far as rebounding, that just comes natural to Bobby. Basketball is in his blood, he’s an instinctive rebounder, which also leads to a lot of (garbage) points around the basket.”
One of Miles-Serrano’s biggest fans is his father Pat Miles, who was a track legend at rival La Puente High School, where he still holds the 100-yard school record (9.6) that he set in 1969.
“I’m not surprised with how well he’s playing because he has been on travel ball teams since he was a kid,” Miles said of his son. “He loves the game, it comes easy to him, but he works at it hard, which is why he’s flourishing and gets better each year.”
Miles-Serrano and Guerrero have been friends since childhood and played on the same travel-ball teams, so there was no animosity when Guerrero left, and there was no animosity when he was there, which is something that happens when a big-time recruit transfers in.
“It was great when CJ was here, he’s a great player and it got me a lot of easy open looks,” Miles-Serrano said. “Everybody focused on him and it made all of us better, plus we got more (exposure). I had no complaints.
“This year is the opposite. Everyone is focused on me, so I’m counting more on my teammates to hit big shots and help me get easier shots. It’s taking time, but we’re getting there.”
Even though Workman isn’t well known in basketball circles, it hasn’t stopped Miles-Guerrero from drawing national attention from several NCAA Division I schools, with assistants from UCLA stopping by the Workman campus recently.
Miles-Guerrero already has a full-ride offer from Eastern Washington, with Portland, North Dakota State, Santa Clara and others showing interest along with the Bruins.
“It’s flattering, it really is,” Miles-Serrano said. “I’ll make that decision when it’s time, but right now, I have to keep working and stay focused.”
That work ethic is one of his admiring qualities and why schools are so interested in him.
In terms of grades, he’s well above a 3.0 and has excellent SAT and ACT scores.
“Bobby’s bright, his IQ on the basketball court translates into the classroom,” Flores said. “I’m also a guidance counselor at the school, so we have talked since his freshman year how important his grades would be, and it’s never been a problem for him at all.
“This is why so many schools are taking a look, they realize not only is he a good player, but it’s a win-win because his grades are so good.”
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