Byron Scott, who signed a five-year contract Monday with the Lakers for an estimated $1.2 million a year, said when he retires he would like to coach basketball at his alma mater, Morningside High.
Are the folks at Morningside excited? Well, not exactly.
"That's the biggest laugh I've ever heard," said Ron Randle, who coaches the Monarchs' basketball team with Carl Franklin. "He better stick to comedy because that's what he's talking."
Randle said Scott has done little to help Morningside since his graduation in 1979 from the school that is within walking distance of the Forum.
"We've sent letters and made calls and asked him to show up as a guest speaker, but he hasn't been able to make it," Randle said. "I think the ball is in his court at this point.
"The sign of a good coach is putting his best foot forward for the team instead of his mouth."
Randle said when Scott was a senior at Morningside, the Dads' Club bought the player a suit to wear to the Dapper Dan Classic in Pittsburgh.
"I think he'd be remiss in not remembering some of that," Randle said. "I've spent my coaching stipend the last four years to sponsor our kids at summer camps. It takes that type of commitment to be a coach. I don't know if he's ready for that."
Add Morningside: Randle said the Monarchs are about $2,000 short of what they need to participate in the Iolani Classic in Honolulu on Dec. 15-21.
To raise the funds, Morningside will hold a basketball clinic Oct. 18-22 and a 3-on-3 tournament for adults Nov. 12-13.
The clinic, which will feature Long Beach State Coach Joe Harrington and assistant coaches Tony Fuller of UCLA and Stan Stewart of UC Santa Barbara, costs $5 and is open to players ages 12 to 18. The 3-on-3 tournament carries an entry fee of $20 per team and includes T-shirts and trophies.
Anyone interested in either event can call Randle at 419-2702 or the Morningside student store at 419-2989.
Before the season, Carson football Coach Gene Vollnogle said his main concern about the Colts' new two-quarterback system was that either Perry Klein or Fred Gatlin would outperform the other by a wide margin.
That, he said, could result in the Colts benching one quarterback.
Although Klein has been the better passer through four games, Vollnogle said he intends to continue alternating his quarterbacks after each series.
"Perry started off so well and he's still hot," he said. "But Fred is improving. We're running the ball more than throwing the ball, so Fred is a little more valuable at this stage."
Klein has clearly outperformed Gatlin as a passer. The transfer from Palisades has completed 27 of 42 attempts (64%) for 510 yards and 6 touchdowns with 1 interception. Gatlin is 17 of 35 (48%) for 245 yards and 3 TDs with 2 interceptions.
Gatlin has netted 58 yards rushing on 18 carries. Klein, who has been sacked several times, has six yards on 12 carries.
"It makes it a good situation," Vollnogle said. "Both of them can throw and both of them can run. When one is in the game, it gives the other a chance to stand on the sidelines and look at the defense to see what's going on."
In Carson's 48-16 win over San Pedro last Friday, the Colts favored their double-wing passing offense when Klein was at quarterback and were more apt to run the veer option with Gatlin in the game.
Prep football fans wanting to get a look at Carson and Banning, two of the area's best teams, can do so Friday when the schools play a rare double-header at Harbor College.
In the Conference Two games, Banning meets Narbonne at 2:30 p.m. and Carson faces Washington at 8.
Vollnogle said he cannot remember the rival schools ever playing separate games on the same field on the same day.
"It's never happened that I can remember," he said. "I was surprised. I didn't know Banning was playing there until (Monday). I hope they get their game over in time because our 'B' game starts at 5:15."
Bishop Montgomery's football team (4-0) is off to its best start since 1983, the year it reached the CIF Northwestern Conference finals and finished with a 12-1-1 record.
When asked about the Knights' recent success, Coach Andy Szabatura had trouble pinpointing a reason.
"Talent-wise, I don't think we have any superstars," he said. "There seems to be a good sense of balance, and maybe we're doing a better job of coaching.
"We have a good blend of kids. I wouldn't want to say they are my best team. They're a bunch of blue-collar workers."
Some thought the Knights would be in trouble because of the graduation of their top player from last year, quarterback/defensive back Niu Sale. But the emergence of several seniors--including wide receiver-turned-quarterback Scott Altenberg, tailback Richard Jones and linebacker Pete Ortiz--has bolstered the team in early games.
Bishop Montgomery completes non-league play Friday night at home against Serra before opening in the always-tough Angelus League against Servite, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Division I poll.