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Corona Del Mar High--October 7, 1997

The Newport Beach-Costa Mesa Daily Pilot published a very interesting article today about the Corona Del Mar High School team, and in particular about a German exchange student who will be leading CdM this year. The cause for CdM's coach Paul Orris' celebration: The arrival of 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior foreign exchange student Alex Jekeli.

The Daily Pilot reports that Jekeli, from Starnberg, Germany (near Munich) has been working out with his teammates in conditioning classes and is very impressive. The Pilot quoted Orris as saying "He can play and he's working hard." Orris added: "He not only has some basketball skills, but also some athletic ability. He runs the floor, can catch the ball and do something with it, jumps well and shoots pretty well from up to 15 feet. He's a little rough around the edges with some of his post moves, but he seems to pick things up relatively quickly."

Orris indicated that he couldn't remember the last time that a Sea King player had dunked the ball during the entire 11 seasons he's been with the school. Jeleki's father is reportedly 6-6, and the boy has already shot past him. Jeleki was quoted as telling the Daily Pilot that "basketball was a factor" in his decision to come to the United States. Only time will tell if Jeleki will match the expectations that Orris and others at CdM have for him. Jeleki will return to Germany for his final year of high school, but clearly wants to make an impression on the college coaches here in order to return to play ball after graduation.

Of his abilities and skill level, the Daily Pilot's Barry Faulkner quoted Jeleki as saying "I feel like I'm catching up (with the other CdM varsity players)." Faulkner observed Jekeli to have a "deft midrange shooting touch," and witnessed him in Monday's practice block a handful of his smaller teammates' shots, and show-off with a few fancy dunks.

Unfortunately, no other information on this team was contained in the article, and Jeleki is a virtual unknown in that he's not participated here at any of the publicized summer camps (e.g., West Coast All Stars, Snow Valley, etc). CdM plays in the Sea View League of the Southern Section of CIF along with
El Toro, Irvine, Newport Harbor, Santa Margarita, and Woodbridge in Division III (the same Division as defending State Champs Harvard-Westlake and this year's favorite San Diego Uni High).

We'll try to get more information on this team and the rest of the league soon.

 

The Swish Award

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