SATURDAY’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SHOOTOUT
AT AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
Flintridge Prep v. Alta Loma, 9 a.m.
Rowland vs Saddleback, 10:30 a.m.
Bishop Amat vs. Bonita (girls), Noon
La Canada vs. Glendora, 1:30 p.m.
Colony vs. Murrieta Valley, 3 p.m.
Claremont vs. Rancho Verde, 4:30 p.m.
Damien vs. Corona Centennial, 6 p.m.
La Costa Canyon vs. Etiwanda, 7:30 p.m.
Los Osos vs. Maranatha, 9 p.m.
By Aram Tolegian
It seems nobody knows for sure when the last time was that the storied Glendora and La Canada high school boys basketball programs played each other.
Spartans legendary head coach Tom Hofman speculated it was in the early 1990s, but didn’t know the exact year for sure. Tartans legendary head coach Mike LeDuc said he had it in a book somewhere, but didn’t seem in a rush to find it.
The fact is that it hasn’t happened nearly enough, according to this fan/writer and most area hoops fans. But that will change, at least for one year anyway, on Saturday when La Canada takes on Glendora in the Southern California Shootout at Azusa Pacific University. Tipoff is at 1:30p.m.
Saturday’s game figures to be one of those rare events in which the score of the game or talent on the court may not matter as much as the spectacle of seeing two of the best coaches not only in Valley history, but state history as well, square off against each other.
LeDuc has won a staggering 779 games in his 33 years as a head coach. Hofman has won 587 games in 27 years.
LeDuc has four CIF-SS championships. Hofman has two.
A big reason for those impressive numbers is that both men have mastered the art of maximizing the talent they have to work with, whether it be players who went on to the NBA, blue-chip recruits or the kid whose career ended after the 12th grade.
“I would hope that my impressions (of him) are the same as anybody’s in the coaching community, he’s an incredible coach,” LeDuc said of Hofman. “He gets the most out of his players every single year. Sometimes, they win CIF titles when their players are a little bit better than other years. Then, other years, they maybe win 20 games and win the league. He maximizes his talent, and every kid who’s ever played for him has had a great experience.”
The feeling was mutual when Hofman was asked his thoughts on LeDuc.
“He’s a great coach, an outstanding coach,” Hofman said. “He really knows how to coach offense. When I get a chance to watch them play, I’m studying the game more than I’m being a fan. I’m more of a student when I watch those guys play.”
In an era in which most of the top coaches are out hustling for talent on the travel ball circuit, Hofman and LeDuc are throwbacks. They prefer to let their record and expertise be the selling point for their programs. And if that doesn’t lure the next big prospect in the area, then so be it.
Continue reading “Legendary coaches Mike LeDuc and Tom Hofman talk about today’s legendary meeting, and how they’ve done it all these years” »