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SoCalHoops Junior Class--
The Best of the Best: Centers--(April 16,1998)

We're not sure this should be called the "Best of the Best" . . . Maybe it should be called "This is All There Is". When it comes to centers, there aren't a whole lot of them in SoCal. In fact, if you exclude Raphael Berumen, and call him a 4, as we did, there are only 12. One dozen.

So for this one, we thought we'd just list them. No "Absolute Best", no "Best of the Best" and no "Rest of the Best" 'cause this is all there is, there ain't no more.

Unless of course we missed someone.

And if we did, we're sure that someone out there will point out just how stupid we've been to overlook someone who is obviously as big as a center.

And for this one, we're not going to define a center, except to say that this is the big man on the court, the post player, generally (although not always) the biggest guy on the floor (depending upon weight and bulk, that honor might go to a power forward). A true center can play the high or low post, can and usually does play with his back to the basket, and by the time he's in his junior year, as worked on developing a pretty good drop-step move to the hole, can deny the ball on defense, and maybe even has a nice turnaround jump or even a hook shot.

Again, all the players listed below are currently juniors and will become senior next season. Most have either been stats leaders, received varying degrees of attention from the basketball or general media, or are already established stars; and if they're not yet, because they're so hard to miss, they will be. Some are obviously not as well known as others; if they aren't yet, we believe they've shown promise or potential, and could break out during the summer circuit or during their senior year and thus have the potential to attract the attention of the colleges at the D-I through NAIA levels. In other words, we believe they are all players.

All the listings are in alphabetical order. We have not assigned numerical rankings, frankly because there are only 12, and ranking them would be pretty silly. If you want to go ahead.

Remember, you be the judge. If there's someone we missed (and there must be someone out there) let us know. And if you think someone doesn't belong on the list, let us know that too (but be nice; these are, after all still just kids). Either post a message on the board, or send us an e-mail.

Best of the Junior Centers

Jesse Boyd (6'-8" Jr. C) Mira Costa Jake Dederer (6'-8" Jr. C/PF) Rolling Hills
Nicholas Dodson (6'-8" Jr. C/PF) L.A. Los Angeles Rodney Harvey (6'-5" Jr. C) Pacific Hills
Shaun Hemsley (6'-9" Jr. C) L.A. Crenshaw Gabriel Hughes, (6'-9" Jr. C) Bishop Montgomery
Dalron Johnson (6'-9" Jr. C/F) Verbum Dei Kamron Leonard (6'-8" Jr. C/F) J.W. North
Reid Luszeck (6'-9" Jr. C) Redlands East Valley Chris Osborne (6'-9" Jr. C/PF) Westchester
Bo Segberg (6'-9" Jr. C/PF) Wrightwood J.J. Todd (6'-10" Jr. C) Chaminade

Rest of the Best

Go check out the Power Forwards who can also play the post, identified as "PF/C". Really. There aren't a whole lot of guys in either category. But these are the best. At least we think so.

The Swish Award
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