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Basketball Teams Getting Tripped Up by Football

December 20, 1996

Recruiting trips this time of year are a reward for exceptional football ability, but they can be pain for basketball coaches.

Ryan Nielsen of Royal, Waking Bailey of Kennedy and Joe Borchard of Camarillo are Division I football prospects, and because of that, their contributions in basketball are taking a backseat.

Nielsen, a defensive end in football and center in basketball, is the most sorely missed basketball player. He was Marmonte League player of the year last season and the Highlanders' system is built around him.

But his college potential lies in football. Nielsen has taken trips to USC and Arizona State and will visit Miami, Texas and Stanford.

Bailey, an All-American defensive back in football and a starting guard in basketball, is hounded daily by football recruiters.

"He's missed practice here and there because scouts are going to his home," Kennedy assistant Juan Segura said. "It's difficult, but you can't fault him. This is an exciting time for him and he has to make the right choice."

Borchard, a quarterback whose football season ended Friday with a Southern Section Division III title, began playing Marmonte League basketball games Wednesday.

But the third-year guard might miss games while taking trips to Texas, Stanford and Arizona.

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