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Cooper, Kordich Win Basketball Honors

April 04, 1985|ALAN DROOZ | Times Staff Writer

Consistent excellence is the quality that links Banning High's Eric Cooper and San Pedro's Jack Kordich, who were named The Times South Bay basketball player and coach of the year, respectively.

Cooper, a 6-4 senior guard, averaged 23 points in leading Banning to the City 4-A semifinals and--the mark of a champion--increased his output to nearly 30 per game in the playoffs. Cooper's points came outside on a nearly bionic jumper and inside, where he used his jumping ability for offensive rebounds and an assortment of impressive dunks.

Moreover, Cooper's steadiness and feel for the game were always evident. Banning Coach Don Nichols noted that his star "sees the floor as well as anyone I've ever had" and predicted a big future for Cooper, who will attend the University of Arizona. Manual Arts Coach Reggie Morris tabbed Cooper "the best guard in Los Angeles."

Kordich led San Pedro to its third straight Eastern-Marine League title and an appearance in the City 3-A championship, its first since the days of Willie Naulls in the 1950s.

Kordich's trademark has become an exciting, speedy brand of basketball, with everyone sharing in the fun. Kordich's teams have consistently won despite lack of height. This season his big man was 6-3 and Kordich often started two or three underclassmen. The Pirates, nevertheless, went 20-6.

Cooper and Kordich received their awards Tuesday at The Times annual basketball awards reception, where the All-South Bay team was honored. Joining Cooper on the all-stars were Banning teammate Joe Johnson, San Pedro's Otis Livingston, David Aaron of West Torrance, Anthony January of Carson, Reggie Howard of St. Bernard, Mark Sutherlin of Serra, Darrell Gordon of Morningside, Brian Browning of Inglewood and Pat Shea of Miraleste.

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