An era, of sorts, ended last week at Loyola Marymount when basketball captain Steve Haderlein hung up his sneakers, two games prematurely because of ankle injuries.
Haderlein, a 6-7 senior who was forced to play most of his career at center because of constant personnel problems at Loyola, will go down as the latest but not greatest member of his family in Loyola annals. Older brother Jim holds most Loyola scoring records, which he established from 1968 to 1971. Sister Lisa was a four-year starter in the women's program. And father Martin was a standout in the 1940s.
Steve, youngest of the Haderlein brood, ended the season averaging about 9 points and 8 rebounds, but it could be that none of his predecessors was more valuable.
A scoring star at Arcadia High, Haderlein realized he was too slow to play small forward for a major college, so he worked diligently on weights and added 30 pounds of muscle, building up to 225. "He realized his situation, so he made himself a power player," Coach Ed Goorjian said before the season. Haderlein played center most of the last 2 1/2 years, covering players up to seven inches taller. He generally did a creditable job.
After playing well in December, Haderlein sprained both ankles in January. Characteristically, he played out most of the schedule, though X-rays revealed a stress fracture in the left ankle. When further tests last week showed the start of a stress fracture in the right ankle, he was finally benched.
"I really want to play and it's tough for the doctor to say 'You can't,' but they said I was close to doing some damage that couldn't repair itself," Haderlein said. "Coach (Goorjian) was saddened I couldn't finish off but he told me no matter what the stats say, if you've got the respect of the players and coaches and opponents, then you've done something."
Haderlein, a popular figure on campus, said he has no regrets about attending Loyola, though his playing career took unusual twists. "I didn't mind starting out on guys bigger than me. It's really frustrating when they bring guys off the bench bigger and stronger than you," he said with a laugh. "But you can't sit around and wonder 'what if.' What the team needed was somebody inside.
"I really enjoy Loyola. I talk to guys (opponents) in the summer who may have better records or better stats, but they're not enjoying their college days. I've really enjoyed the school. I could look at my dad and see he had friends he went to Loyola with, and Jim and my sister still have friends from school. That spans 40 years, so I figured there must be something special about the people here, and there is."
The next Haderlein is due at Loyola in about 17 1/2 years. Jim has a 3-month-old son, Mark.
El Camino basketball Coach Paul Landreaux was named Metropolitan Conference coach of the year by his peers for the second consecutive season. It marked the fourth time in his six years at El Camino that the former Kentucky high school star has won the honor.
Landreaux guided the Warriors to a 29-1 record (14-0 in Metro) and the top seeding for next week's state tournament in Fresno. He has averaged 27 wins per season and has never had a percentage lower than .656 at El Camino.
Landreaux, California Community College coach of the year in 1981 when the Warriors won the state championship, stands an excellent chance of receiving the award again.
However, the most remarkable thing about Landreaux is not his record but that, he says, he has never been asked to take the helm at a NCAA Division I school.
"No one has ever come to me and said, 'We'd like you to take this program and turn it around,' " Landreaux said. "My name has been mentioned in the past for several jobs in the area, like Long Beach State and Santa Barbara, but no one has ever made me an offer."
Does this mean he's not interested in leaving El Camino?
"I've certainly thought about making the next step," Landreaux replied, "and I'd definitely be interested if the right situation came around."
The Cal State Dominguez Hills men's basketball season came to a disappointing conclusion Sunday when the Toros were not chosen for an at-large berth in the national tournament by the Division II selection committee. The Toros capped a 10-4 California Collegiate Athletic Assn. season (20-8 overall) by whipping Chapman College, 63-53, last week.
By losing two of its last three games, Dominguez Hills surrendered its conference lead and finished one game behind champion Cal State Northridge. The CCAA placed two teams in the national tournament in each of the previous eight seasons.
Coach Dave Yanai's troops did boast four all-league selections. Senior center Kevin Burrell was a first-team choice for the second consecutive season. Burrell, who averaged 13.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, was a unanimous pick.
Senior guard Willie Thomas and sophomore forwards Brian Edwards and William Alexander were given honorable mention. Thomas averaged 6.4 points and about three assists. Edwards averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds, Alexander 12.4 points and 4.1 rebounds.