What: Eighth annual Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic
When: Saturday, April 23
Where: Damien High School
Girl’s game: 4:00pm
Boy’s game: 6:00pm
Admission: $8 adults, $5 students/children
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
For all of the talent during the Tribune boys All-Star team’s first practice Wednesday at Damien High School, it was an unassuming group that set the tone once the scrimmage began. The quintet of Walnut’s Bryan Gholar and Aubrey Coleman, Bonita’s Jordan Butler and James Northup and Los Altos’ Alvin Tan won four out of five games against some of their more physically talented teammates. “It surprised me a little bit, but we all know each other and play in the same league and have a feel for what each other does,” Northup said. “We just tried to be quicker and smarter and not turn the ball over.” (To continue click thread)
Below: Bonita’s James Northup made a big impression with coaches and Wednesday’s practice.
After taking the first three games of the scrimmage, the group was given a break. But once they got to the bench, Gholar felt it was time to remind the rest of his all-star teammates what league the dominant five was from by yelling out “Hacienda League!”
“He just said, `We’re all in the same league, Hacienda League,’ ” Northup said. “We all kind of know each other from AAU ball or the papers, so there’s none of that (rivalry).”
Northup’s savvy play during the scrimmage caught the eye of La Verne Lutheran assistant coach Carl Cooper, who ran practice while his brother Eric, who’s the Tribune’s head coach, tended to some personal business.
“I really like Northup,” Carl Cooper said. “He’s a really heady kid.”
Pompa holds his own
The Montview League isn’t known for its basketball powerhouses, but La Puente’s German Pompa did just fine when thrown into the fire of playing among the area’s top talent.
Pompa had a nice hook shot over Lutheran’s Xavier Jones, a blocked shot on defense and several rebounds while scrimmaging with a group that included area standouts Daniel Rodriguez and Tyler Hill of Bishop Amat, and C.J. Cooper and Xavier Jones of Lutheran.
“They’re all good, top players,” Pompa said. “I just worked hard every time (out there). I’m trying to start. I haven’t played against guys like these, but I feel like I fit in. I’m happy with the first practice.”
Pompa averaged 13.9 points and nine rebounds per game for the Warriors this season.
Nothing easy about practice
The Tribune All-Stars might have thought they were in for a light practice filled with some easy scrimmaging Wednesday, but they got anything but that from Cooper and his assistants. Rather than stretching and getting into what amounted to a pickup game, the players had more than an hour of skills drills to get rid of the rust from not playing since the season ended.
“We said for the first 45 minutes we wanted to get them back to realizing what it is – footwork, getting up shots the right way and working on ball handling,” Cooper said. “Actually, I think it helped us in the end because toward the end it looked like they were shaping into shape.”
The Tribune team will practice again tonight at Damien from 7-9, during which time the team will determine its three participants each for this weekend’s slam dunk and 3-point contests.