Boys’ basketball: More than just a coincidence

first_imgYeah, sure, in the six years Kelly has been the boys’ basketball coach at Campbell Hall of North Hollywood, the Vikings have gone from pretty good small-school team to nationally feared powerhouse. That’s plenty of correlation to start drawing conclusions. But Kelly is not interested in all that. “People ask me that all the time,” Kelly said. “But our ascension to the national level is just a mere coincidence to me being here. All they needed here was stability and organization.” Coincidence, correlation, whatever … Kelly and the rest of the Vikings are too busy soaking it all in – the national rankings, the college coaches on campus every day scouting Jrue Holiday, the big-time atmosphere at every game – to worry about the “why?” They’ve never worried about the “why?” or even the “when?” Which, in a lot of ways, is how they ended up here. Campbell Hall (28-1) will take on La Canada (28-2) in the Southern Section Div.III-AA championship this morning at 10:45 at the Toyota Center in Anaheim. It’s the fourth time in the past five years Campbell Hall has played for a Southern Section title. In those five years, the Vikings have lost just 14 games. Kelly knows all of those statistics off the top of his head. He’s the one who worries about those details. He’s the one who knows that the Vikings are 19th in the USA Today Super 25 Poll. And he’s the one who will get fired up if they drop even one spot. The players couldn’t care less. Their job is to play basketball, have fun and represent the school well. Kelly and his staff filter out all the other concerns. “I don’t know where we’re ranked,” Jrue Holiday said. “I don’t pay attention to that stuff.” This day is a lot like any other day at Campbell Hall. Jrue Holiday and senior guard Robert Ford are hanging after practice, talking about school while the boys’ volleyball team takes the court and members of a performing arts group duck their heads in every few minutes to chat. Kelly and assistant coach Paul Tait are back in their small coaches’ office, getting ready to study film on La Canada. Tait pulls out the camcorder with La Canada’s game from the night before cued up and starts hooking it up to the 30-inch flatscreen TV in the corner. Kelly plops down on a blue couch along the wall that you can tell has hosted its share of long nights. “We probably study more film than any other school in the Valley,” Kelly said. “When the playoffs started, there were 33 teams in our division and we already had tape on 32 of them.” That’s not just 32 tapes, though. “I’ve probably seen La Canada already three times myself,” Tait said. “The other tapes, we get from all over. I have former players at (his alma mater) Village Christian who’ll say, `Coach Kelly needs tape? Sure, I’ll go get it.’ “We’ve got one guy, Willie Pena, who played at Village. He does all our advance scouting. We throw him 30 or 40 bucks and a T-shirt. But he just likes being a part of it. All he said was, `I’ll do all your games, but I want to go to the semifinals and finals.”‘ That kind of attention to detail goes all the way down to the last muffin. Yeah, muffin. It’s only Wednesday, but Tait’s already got a plan for breakfast on Saturday morning. He’s going to pick up bagels and muffins in the morning and athletic director Anthony Harris is going to cook scrambled eggs. But hold off a little before you call these guys obsessive. It’s not going to stick, not to a guy like Kelly, who’s out shooting half-court shots with the school chaplain an hour before a semifinal game. “The ref came up to me and was like, `Who’s the head coach here?’ And I’m like, `Um, that’s me sir,”‘ Kelly said. And it’s certainly not going to stick to a team that chose to spend all of its free time at a tournament in Delaware this winter hanging out, playing video games and shooting pool. “After we beat Simon Gratz of Philadelphia, I said to Justin, `You guys earned it. What do you want to do? Where do you guys want to go?”‘ Kelly said. “And he was like, `You know what coach? Honestly, we just want to go to the house and hang out.”‘ Kelly and Tait were right in there, hanging out and playing flashlight tag with Kelly’s sons, Chris and William. “I’m really like 22 years old,” Kelly jokes. Some would say more like 17. Last week, star guard Dallas Rutherford missed a couple of days with the flu. Kelly got on his T-Mobile Sidekick and sent him a text message. “Dallas, I really miss you.” Rutherford didn’t recognize the number. He wrote back, “Who is this?” Kelly laughed, then wrote, “This is Coach Kelly. I’m hurt. I can’t believe you haven’t saved my number yet.” That is Kelly. He’s an East Coast, work-hard, play-hard kind of guy. Demanding? Absolutely. Just ask the 26 assistant coaches he’s gone through in his six years at Campbell Hall. Determined? Oh yeah. Kelly has lost 65 pounds while training for Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon. Somewhere in between coaching, teaching and being a husband and father, he’s found time to run nine miles a day to train. Perfectionist? An understatement. “His playbook is like five Bibles stacked together,” Harris said. Fun-loving? More than you know. Every day at Campbell Hall is like hanging out at the frat house, without all the debauchery. Driven? That’s a longer story. He used to be completely driven. His career was everything. The kind of guy who went to coaches’ clinics, sat in the front row and wrote down every word. “Lute Olson would say `hello’ and I’d write that down,” he joked. He was never much of a basketball player. Good in high school because he was tough and smart. Good as a walk-on at Florida State because he didn’t mind bringing Sam Cassell water or taking charges in practice. But even he knew early on his future in the game would be in coaching. At 22, he landed his first gig, coaching at his alma mater, the Canterbury School in Ft. Myers, Fla. Success came right away. Canterbury was always ranked in the state, won a bunch of titles, even sniffed the USA Today poll on occasion. But Kelly needed more. He needed to see how far he could go. So he switched over to coaching at a public school in Ft. Myers and took an assistant coaching position with a USBL team, under head coach Rick Barry. He hated every second of it. He couldn’t connect to the kids. He couldn’t fathom the lifestyle of a minor-league basketball coach, traveling all over the country in buses, scraping by on dreams and peanuts. Almost on cue, a call came from a high school out in Los Angeles. Campbell Hall was a good program, but not great. Every coach who had been there just seemed to use it as a springboard to something else. The longest anyone had ever stayed was three years. Kelly didn’t dwell on that. The school wanted to fly him out for an interview, and he was even picked up from the airport in a Lincoln Town Car. Within 19 days, he’d taken the job, sold his house in Florida and moved his family out to a new home in California. He didn’t know it at the time, but he’d landed in the place he would later decide was good enough to be the last job he’d ever have. “I’m not looking to go anywhere else,” he said. “I’ve had a number of collegiate opportunities, a number of high school opportunities, and I don’t care. I don’t care to go anywhere else than Campbell Hall. I’m happy here.” Your instinct is to ask a follow up question, to go back to the “how?” or the “why?” But isn’t it obvious? [email protected] (818) 713-3617 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Take your pick. Either way. Those are the stories Terry Kelly would have you believe. center_img NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Maybe it all started when Toya Holiday got tired of spending her life on the freeway, driving her sons Justin and Jrue to school in Rancho Cucamonga, then all the way out to work in North Hollywood every day. Or maybe it was when Joe Ford walked onto campus one day about six years ago and decided the small, tony private school on the west side of Laurel Canyon Boulevard that you drive past four times before you see the entrance gate was the one for him. last_img

LAUSD audit aid offer raises old grievances

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Chick rejected the Tokofsky letter as irrelevant to her efforts to conduct a management audit of the district. “I have already talked with him about these issues and suggested he talk to his own attorneys or the school district’s Inspector General’s Office on these issues,” she said. “I think he should know better than to ask me to help him in a school district lawsuit against the city and, quite frankly, his other ideas are not very relevant to my concerns on how the district is operating.” The claim involving the DWP has been a hot-button issue among LAUSD officials, but city officials have disputed the claim and said it has already won cases involving similar accusations that had been made by the state during the energy crisis of five years ago. Also, on joint-use agreements, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Superintendent Roy Romer announced last week they were close to an agreement on how costs should be shared. In joint-use projects, schools are located near parks and libraries. Staff Writer Naush Boghossian contributed to this report. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] A Los Angeles school board member revived a number of past grievances about dealings with the city as he released a letter Wednesday offering to help City Controller Laura Chick audit the district. Los Angeles Unified board member David Tokofsky, who heads the board’s audits committee, released a Jan. 5 letter he sent to Chick outlining five areas where he believes the LAUSD and the city have had problems. “I am available to meet with you to focus on your efforts toward a scope of work that you feel will help bring, as you said, transparency and accountability to LAUSD,” Tokofsky wrote. He then recommended she review several instances in which he believes the city shortchanged the district: a lawsuit the district filed against the Department of Water and Power, alleging it was overcharged; the effectiveness of the L.A. Bridges program; the amount the district needs to spend for police; city sales taxes paid by LAUSD; and joint-use agreements. last_img read more

Solis seeks to honor hero

first_img “She didn’t ask for all the attention, but she deserves it,’ Solis said. Keil moved to Covina 48 years ago and was the first resident on her street, said her daughter, Adrianne Whitmore, 48, who grew up in Covina and now lives in Chino Hills. “I think she would be so honored, so touched, for the city to do something like that because she loved the city,’ Whitmore said. Keil would feel honored by the recognition, although she was modest about such things, Whitmore said. “She never could understand why everyone made such a fuss over it all,’ Whitmore said. “It was something she just did as part of her duty. It was something she was proud to be doing.’ COVINA — The Covina post office may get named for a local hero who made life- saving deliveries of her own. Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte, introduced a bill to name the post office at 545 N. Rimsdale Ave. in honor of Lillian Keil, the most decorated female veteran in U.S. military history. Keil, who died of cancer at age 88 on June 30, served as a flight nurse in World War II and the Korean War, evacuating wounded soldiers from the battlefield in 425 missions. Naming the post office for Keil is a fitting honor for someone who became a trailblazer in the military, Solis said. She was a very strong woman, very kind and approachable, Solis said. Solis’ bill is expected to be heard by the Committee on Government Reform later this month, and would need approval from Congress, the Senate and President Bush. In the San Gabriel Valley, this will not be the first post office named recently after a soldier. In November 2003, Solis received federal approval to name the Duarte post office after Francisco Martinez Flores, a 21- year-old Duarte resident killed while serving with the Marines in Iraq. Keil lived in Covina but she was also very active in West Covina, West Covina Councilman Steve Herfert said, adding people can learn a lot from her life story. “The reward in her life was not monetary. It was helping people,’ Herfert said. “She came from the greatest generation but she did what she did without wanting thanks for it. She believed in serving other people. She saved countless lives.’ @tagline columnist:Rodney Tanaka can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2230, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Spain: 7 injured but no gorings in final Pamplona bull run

first_imgPAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish medical officials say at least seven people suffered bruises but no one was gored in a gripping final running of the bulls at Pamplona’s San Fermin festival.The run produced moments of high tension when several of the bulls crashed into a pile of fallen runners on entering the bull ring but there were no gorings.More than 1,000 people took part in the 8 a.m. run Thursday, which lasted 2 minutes, 20 seconds.The Spanish Red Cross said six people were taken to a city hospital for contusions and one was treated in the ring.There were no further details immediately.The nine-day fiesta became world famous with Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises” and attracts thousands of foreign tourists. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img