Marymount Palos Verdes may be the new kid on the block in junior college sports circles, but a summer trip will put Marymount's basketball team on the map. Or, more precisely, the map of the Far East.
Mariners Coach Jim Masterson has been invited to bring a selected team for games in Hong Kong and China in July as part of an international sports exchange program.
Masterson said the team will play two games in Hong Kong and one in China against teams "that would be comparable to good junior college teams here." The games will take place from July 8 to 17 under auspices of Amateur Sports Development USA, a nonprofit organization started in 1983 to direct international exchanges of athletes in seven sports.
To create a 12-man roster Masterson first approached his own team members, most of whom already had plans. Five of the Mariners--Craig Hester, Theron Gilmore, Craig Gehr, Robert Cid and David Wohlfarth--will make the trip along with a Marymount recruit, Curtis Townsend out of Mira Costa High.
Masterson then contacted most of the South Bay high school stars who weren't recruited by major colleges, but struck out. Masterson has gotten three more recruits and was busily sending out "another batch of letters" trying to fill out the team. "There are not very many big kids," Masterson said, "but we do have some good jumpers."
Masterson was chosen through a chance encounter with Jack Robinson, the organizer of Amateur Sports Development. Robinson officiated a couple of Marymount games last winter and was impressed with Masterson's demeanor. When Robinson approached him, Masterson didn't have to think twice.
"I said, 'Sure.' I've been to Mexico and Canada--that's it. So it's a chance for me to travel."
The trip package costs $1,500 for each player. Masterson's expenses will be paid and his assistant will go for $1,000. Masterson said the traveling contingent will be about 20, including some parents.
They may be getting older, but they're getting better: Three Southland swimmers recently competed in the National Postal One-Hour Swim Championships and improved on their national mark from last year.
Alfred Guth, 78, from San Pedro; John Burnside, 77, from Palos Verdes Estates and John Shott, 77, from Burbank swam laps against the clock for an hour and mailed the results to Washington, D.C., where marks from around the nation were tabulated.
Distances (in yards) for the three were: Shott 3,150; Burnside 3,085 and Guth 2,775. Their total of 9,010 turned out to be a record.