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Boys' Prep Player of the Week : Dre Lamoureux Grows Into Top-Quality Player

December 29, 1987|CHRIS FOSTER | Times Staff Writer

The last thing Dre Lamoureux wanted to do as a freshman at Los Alamitos High School was play basketball.

Standing 6-feet 4-inches, Lamoureux went out for the team but soon quit, believing he would never play again.

"I just wasn't tough enough," he said. "I really wasn't that good, just big."

Steve Brooks, Griffin basketball coach, said, "Dre was a soft kid as a freshman. He was self-conscious about his size and maybe felt a little awkward as a player. That's sure changed."

In a big way.

Last week, Lamoureux, a 6-9 senior, averaged 31 points per game in leading Los Alamitos to the championship of the Mid-Pacific tournament at Honolulu. He followed that with a 32-point performance Saturday against Huntington Beach in the first round of the Coast Christmas tournament.

The change in attitude began late in his sophomore year.

Lamoureux became an avid follower of basketball, watching college games almost every night at home. It also became apparent that he would continue to grow.

After asking Brooks if he could go out for the team, Lamoureux participated in the Griffins' spring tryouts.

"I used to go to all the varsity games and felt I could be that good," he said. "The first time out at practice, I knew it wasn't going to be that easy."

Still, Brooks was impressed.

"Dre showed us some good signs," Brooks said. "But, we felt he was a project."

Brooks set up a program for Lamoureux to improve his agility and basketball skills. He jumped rope and lifted weights almost every day, losing 17 pounds in the process.

"I coach the junior varsity baseball team during the spring," Brooks said. "I would be at practice and see Dre jumping rope and doing his drills. He really worked hard."

Even during the basketball season of his junior year, Lamoureux put in extra work. He practiced with the junior varsity and spent another 45 minutes on individual work with the varsity.

It began to pay off last season, when Lamoureux averaged 8 points and 7 rebounds for the junior varsity.

"I'm a lot tougher mentally now," he said. "When someone gave me an elbow before, I'd move. Now, I hold my ground and try to get position."

Dre Lamoureux

Los Alamitos High

Position: center.

Height, Weight, Class: 6-9, 225, Sr.

Last Week: Averaged 31 points per game in the Mid-Pacific tournament and was selected its most valuable player. He scored another 32 points against Huntington Beach Saturday in the first round of the Coast Christmas tournament.

Season: Averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game.

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