Trisha Stafford of Westchester High School and Chris Mills of Fairfax were named the Westside's top players, Mills for the second straight year, and Beverlie Pendleton of Westchester and Jim Nakabara of University High were named the area's coaches of the year at The Times annual basketball awards program.
The ceremony last Sunday at the Anaheim Hilton saluted 240 prep all-star boys and girls from 12 Southern California areas. Paul Westhead, Loyola Marymount basketball coach, was the speaker.
Stafford, a 6-1 senior forward-center who helped lead the Comets to their best season in school history, averaged 22.2 points and 11.5 rebounds last season.
She and 5-9 senior guard Tammy Story were named Los Angeles City 4-A co-players of the year, and Stafford was named all-state by Cal-Hi Sports. Stafford has signed a letter of intent with UC Berkeley.
In only Pendleton's second year as head coach of the Westchester girls varsity, the Comets were undefeated (10-0) champions of the Mid-City League, won the school's first City title in girls basketball and advanced to the semifinals of the state Division I regional playoffs.
Pendleton graduated from Cal State Los Angeles, where she played basketball and was a discus thrower. A teacher at Webster Junior High School in West Los Angeles for 10 years, she also coached in the after-school basketball program there and spent one season as a walk-on girls varsity basketball coach at Hollywood High. She holds a master's degree in school administration from Pepperdine University.
She said that she realized she would have a strong team before the season began because "basically we had the same people back. We lost only a few."
A two-time All-American, the 6-7 Mills was one of the best players in the history of Fairfax High, which has long been a power in Los Angeles City basketball. He was an All-Westside selection for three consecutive years, and this year he was named the state boys player of the year by Cal-Hi Sports.
This past season Mills averaged 31.6 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and 3 assists a game. He hit 78.4% of his foul shots and 57.3% from the field.
A graduate of University High, Nakabara attended Santa Monica College, graduated from UCLA and holds a teacher's credential from Cal State Los Angeles.
He has been head coach at his alma mater for the last five seasons, and each year his team has shown improvement. This year the Warriors had their best season, finishing with a 19-5 overall record after losing to Grant in overtime in the semifinals of the 3-A City playoffs.
Nakabara's teams have been noted for balanced scoring and getting the ball to the open man. This year four of his five starters averaged double figures in scoring.
Besides Stafford and teammate Story, players on the 1988 All-Westside girls team are Valerie Agee of Palisades, Jamila Banks of Santa Monica Crossroads, Lisa Cohen of Los Angeles Westlake, Jessica Fairbanks of Fairfax, Kristin Klein of Marymount, Kesha Martin of University, Kathryn McGriff of Culver City and Leah Stevenson of Notre Dame Academy.
Members of the boys team with Mills are Sam Crawford of Westchester, James Dudley of Palisades, Chuck Hegeman of University, Steven Jeter of Culver City, Jason Joe of St. Monica, Zan Mason of Westchester, Keith Neal of Santa Monica, Derek Patton of Beverly Hills and Michael Victor of Brentwood.