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SoCalHoops Prep & High School News Report

Mike Livaccari Gets Impatient . . .And We Don't
Blame Him A Bit. Here's His Inflight Report.--(April 12,1998)

Ok, so who can blame Mike Livacarri, the coach of Inflight Elite & Rockets, a traveling team made up of mostly guys from in and around the Temecula area. We saw Mike last Sunday playing the Pump-n-Run II team and Mike promised to get us a report on the rest of his team's games at the Pump Easter Classic. Likewise, we promised, after writing about both the Pump teams which had a bunch of players we knew, to write about Mike's kids as well.

Mike kept his part of the bargain, actually sending me a report last Tuesday by e-mail. But unfortunately, due to the press of business, I received it on my office computer, and kept forgetting to resend it to myself so that I could reformat it and post it up here during the evening. Darn. Sorry about that Mike. You kept your word. We didn't.

But all is not lost. Here's the letter which Mike sent to me on Tuesday, and which he evidently also sent to Mike Miller at West Coast Hoops. While Michael was busy whooping it up playing craps, eating, and watching hoops in Vegas, I was toiling in the salt mines, too busy at work to do much else but read the e-mail that has been piling up all week. Sorry about that. To make amends, here's the Inflight Elite roster from the Pump Easter Tournament, and Mike Livacarri's letter and report on how Inflight performed at the tourney. And from what I saw, this will be a team that will more than shock a few bigger and better known teams during the summer circuit. Here's who's playing:

Doug Crain (6'-5" Jr. F)
Gibran Garcia (5'-10" Jr. PG)
Robbie Leark (5'-10" Jr. G)
Adam Forrest (6'-4" So. F)
James Phillips (6'-3" Jr. F)
Jeff McDaniel (6'-3" Jr. F)
Chris Livaccari (6'-3" Jr. PG/SG)
Michael Bonwell (6'-6' Jr. F)
Travis Clark (6'-4" Sr. F)

Not an overwhelmingly tall team, but very quick, and they just destroyed the Pump II team, which featured some very tall players, including JJ Todd and Scott Borchart from Chaminade, Jeremiah Turner, Branduinn Fullove from Simi, and Chris Williams from Notre Dame. Average height of that group: About 6'-8. That's average.

So how did they do it? With speed, quickness, better ball control, and better shooting. Sounds like that's how to win a game.

Anyway, here's coach Mike's e-mail, which by now, you can find over on West Coast Hoops as well. But on the theory that you can't have too much of a good thing (or is the saying "all things in moderation, including moderation"? I can never get that straight), here it is again.

"To jegesq@socalhoops.com

"Here's the report from the Pump Easter Tournament.

"April 3-5 Inflight Elite played at the Easter Pump 'n' Run tournament. Our team did even better than we expected at the tournament, winning the Consolation Championship. Unfortunately, Michael Miller [of West Coast Hoops, not Coach Michael Miller from LACC] got to watch our worst game against Oakland Slam N Jam Friday night. They were an excellent team and beat us by 20 but we were just flat that night. After that we caught fire, winning our next three games. Saturday we played BWBA II and dominated throughout the entire game. Our PG Gibran Garcia, a junior from Bishop's La Jolla, had a tremendous tournament. He gets little recognition, but wreaks havoc on opposing point guards. Gibran picked the point guards from BWBA II, West Valley and Double Pump II. No one seemed to give us a chance against West Valley and Double Pump II but we led by 25 and 20 points at one point against each team respectively. Chris Livaccari, our shooting guard, hit over 50% from the 3 point line during the tournament and had a near perfect game against Double Pump II, with 19 points, 8 assists, 4 steals and 5 rebounds.

"We don't get a lot of attention at these big tournaments because of our lack of size and star power, but we have excellent players who understand the game, play as a team, and will play in college somewhere. Mike Bonwell, Santa Fe Christian, at 6'6", and Doug Crain, Temecula HS, at 6'5", are our tallest players and did a great job against some monster big men. During the entire tournament Mike had double digits in points and rebounds, he is a very athletic big man who fits our fastbreak system perfectly. Doug is a great scorer and had 22 points against BWBA II. He shoots the 3 well and works hard getting a lot of points inside. James Phillips, our only sophomore, at 6'4" and 220 pounds helped out in the post and really stepped his game up to a new level. He has long arms and giant hands and we love to post him up. Rob Leark from La Serna HS hit 3's and played great defense for us and Travis Clark from Carlsbad HS has a Barkley type game that made us a lot tougher this weekend.

"This was the most successful we have ever been at Pump and I feel like nobody even knows about it. [Hey Mike, we're trying, we're trying].

"April 10-12 we are flying to Phoenix for the BCI tournament, and April 17-19 we are flying to the ARC/Slam N Jam Bay area Basketbrawl in San Francisco. We will keep improving and will shock some people along the way. Get the word out that our Inflight Elite team is for real, we are staying together through July and will be running on all cylinders by then. We will also be playing Hi-Five Americal Memorial Day, Adidas Big Time in Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Grand Finale.

Inflight B-ball

The Swish Award
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