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Making Points With Dad : Talented Trio of Coaches and Players Combine Generations on the Court

January 26, 1989|RALPH NICHOLS | Times Staff Writer

Barbara Purdy settles back to watch her favorite television show only to discover that somebody has left a tape of a Santa Barbara High basketball game in the videocassette recorder.

If that's not irritating enough, Purdy often finds that her unfinished letters have been defaced with little diagrams and doodles that look like markings from a basketball coach's playbook.

Purdy has no choice but to put up with such minor nuisances since 2 of her sons play basketball at Santa Barbara, where her husband, Bob, has been head coach for 2 years.

Basketball is more than a passing interest in the Purdy house--it's a way of life.

"Basketball is very dominant in our family, partly because my wife is very involved in it, too," Bob Purdy said. "It's a family happening for us, something that we're involved in 11 months out of the year."

The Purdy's are not unique in local basketball circles, however. Dick Sebek coaches his son Tim at Nordhoff and John Harbour coaches his son, David, at Camarillo.

Danny and Matt Purdy both start for the Dons and are key factors in Santa Barbara's success this season. The Dons were 10-7, 4-3 in Channel League play and in third place in the league standings entering the week.

Danny, a 6-foot, 2-inch senior point guard, is averaging 20 points a game to lead the Dons in scoring. Matt, a 6-7 sophomore forward, is averaging 14 points and 7 rebounds a game to lead the team in rebounding.

While some coaches may not like coaching a son or sons, Bob Purdy welcomes the opportunity.

Before coaching Danny and Matt at Santa Barbara, Purdy coached his oldest son, David, now a redshirt freshman at Chico State, when he was basketball coach at St. Joseph High in Santa Maria.

"I just feel very fortunate to be involved in something that they are also involved in," Purdy said. "It's rewarding for me to be around my kids so much when most parents don't get that opportunity."

It's also rewarding for Danny and Matt to be coached by their father.

"One of the advantages is that I can get the keys to the gym whenever I want them," Danny said. "Who else has a coach around 24 hours a day who will come down to the gym and help with your shot."

There are some drawbacks, however, to having your father as coach.

"It's hard sometimes when the team is not doing well because you hear players saying things about your dad," Matt said.

Coaching his son, Tim, a 6-1 freshman guard, has also been rewarding for Nordhoff's Dick Sebek.

Sebek has previously coached Tim in youth basketball and Little League, so he is familiar with his son's abilities.

"Tim has been involved in basketball since the second grade so he is very knowledgeable on the court," Sebek said.

Tim is the first freshman to start for Sebek in 14 years at Nordhoff (7-10, 3-2). The veteran coach insists that his son earned a spot in the lineup solely because of his ability.

"There was a combination of reasons for his starting," Sebek said. "It was based on his ability and the fact that we did not have a tremendous amount of returning seniors."

Tim, who is averaging 9 points a game, says he doesn't want to stand out.

"I just want to be treated like everybody else," Tim said. "I'm sure it must be different for the other kids who don't have their father for the coach."

Like Purdy, Sebek does not see many drawbacks to coaching his son.

"I've talked to a lot of coaches through the years who have coached their sons and most of them felt that it was a real positive experience," Sebek said. "Some of the coaches felt that if anything they were too critical with their sons because they did not want to show any favoritism towards them."

David Harbour, a 6-2 sophomore guard for Camarillo, has also proven he deserves to be in the starting lineup. John Harbour said he has never before seen such impressive statistics from a sophomore.

"He's as good a sophomore as we have ever had here," Harbour said of David, who averages 21.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists to lead the Scorpions in all 3 categories.

Like Sebek and Purdy, coaching his son is nothing new for Harbour.

He took a season off from coaching at Camarillo 2 years ago to coach his son's Junior Olympic team, which finished fourth in the nation.

After playing on the Camarillo junior varsity team as a freshman, David is tearing up the Marmonte League.

"I like playing for my dad because I always know what to expect from him," David said. "Sometimes he will get on me for things that he wouldn't get on other guys for, but I know that he has goals for me and that he wants me to work hard."

Said John Harbour: "The only drawback for him is that he has to go home with the coach. It's all right most of the time, but if a player has a bad practice or game, I imagine it can be tough."

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