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Southeast All-Star Boys Stand Tall for Their On-Court Performance


SOUTHEAST AREA — It was the year of the big man in boys basketball in the Southeast area. Seven of the 10 members of The Times' 1993 Southeast Boys High School All-Star Basketball Team spent most of their time in the front court, including Charles O'Bannon, the co-player of the year in Division II from state champion Artesia High.

O'Bannon, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 23.4 points and 10.8 rebounds a game and was the top vote-getter among coaches who mailed in ballots.

Although O'Bannon could handle the ball like a backcourt specialist, only three real guards are on the 10-man roster: Shawn Caracoza of Artesia, Steve Viruet of Bellflower and Kelley Hambrick of La Mirada.

There are seven seniors and four repeaters on the team, which will be honored during a breakfast at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Hotel in Long Beach.

The team is composed of players from Southeast Los Angeles County schools in a general area bordered by the 10, 91, 710 and 605 Freeways, and including parts of Lakewood. It was chosen primarily on the basis of ballots cast by area coaches.

The Southeast team:

ED ELLIS, La Serna--He was one of the stronger players in the Whitmont League, where guards usually dominate. The 6-7 all-league center averaged 23.4 points and 9.2 rebounds a game. "He is a very good shooter," said opponent Daren Glaves of California High.

ERIK KENNADY, El Rancho--He will be the premier center in the Whitmont League next season. A 6-7 junior, he repeats on the all-Southeast team after averaging 25.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 4 assists. "He could score from anywhere and rebound," said California High Coach Phil Sherman. Kennady was the league co-MVP.

DAREN GLAVES, California--Not to be outdone by Ellis and Kennady, the 6-5 guard/forward was another big man in the Whitmont League. He averaged 22.3 points and 7.8 rebounds. He said he is considering playing basketball at Western Oregon State College in Monmouth.

KELLY HAMBRICK, La Mirada--An overlooked guard in a league dominated by Artesia, the 6-0 1/2 guard averaged 20.4 points and 5.8 assists. "He just doesn't look like a player," said Coach Roger Williams, "but he's real deceptive." A second-team Division II selection, Hambrick made seven of 10 three-point shots and scored 38 points in the Matadores' 86-78 upset of Redondo Union High in the opening round of the playoffs.

STEVE VIRUET, Bellflower--He set a school record for career assists, averaging eight on a team that gave most other teams in the Suburban League fits. He was Bellflower's most valuable player and made the all-Suburban League team. The 5-10 guard also scored 11 points a game.

CHARLES O'BANNON, Artesia--A three-time selection to the all-Southeast team, he is as adept at shooting three-point shots as he is at taking the ball inside to score. He averaged 23.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shots in leading the Pioneers to their second consecutive Division II state title. Expected to announce next week where he will go to college, he is considering Kentucky, UCLA, USC and Michigan.

AVONDRE JONES, Artesia--Another three-time choice on the Southeast team, he is considered one of the most improved big men in the country. The 6-11 center averaged 21.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.3 blocked shots and was selected to the Southern Section Division II first team. He is expected to choose next week among Michigan, USC, UCLA, Arizona and LSU.

SHAWN CARACOZA, Artesia--Not to be overshadowed by his better-known teammates, Caracoza averaged 18.3 points for the Pioneers and was named to the Division II second team. The 6-2 senior guard made passes that led to many baskets by Jones and O'Bannon.

JELANI GARDNER, St. John Bosco--A first-team Division II selection, he has quick, powerful moves around the basket and averaged 19.7 points. The 6-6 junior is expected to be one of the area's top players next season.

JAMES COTTON, St. John Bosco--The 6-5 senior forward signed a letter of intent with Cal State Long Beach in November, then led the Braves in scoring with a 21.3 average. He won a first-team berth in Division II.

Boys Name: Daren Glaves School: California Year: Senior Height: 6-5 Avg.: 22.3 *Name: Ed Ellis School: La Serna Year: Junior Height: 6-7 Avg.: 23.4 *Name: Erik Kennady School: El Rancho Year: Junior Height: 6-7 Avg.: 25.5 *Name: Kelly Hambrick School: La Mirada Year: Senior Height: 6-1 Avg.: 20.4 *Name: Steve Viruet School: Bellflower Year: Senior Height: 5-10 Avg.: 11.0 *Name: Avondre Jones School: Artesia Year: Senior Height: 6-10 Avg.: 21.2 *Name: Charles O'Bannon School: Artesia Year: Senior Height: 6-7 Avg.: 23.4 *Name: Shawn Caracoza School: Artesia Year: Senior Height: 6-2 Avg.: 18.3 *Name: Jelani Gardner School: St. John Bosco Year: Junior Height: 6-6 Avg.: 19.7 *Name: James Cotton School: St. John Bosco Year: Senior Height: 21.3 Avg.:

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