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Los Angeles Times 1998 All-Valley Basketball Teams
| PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Dominance Comes With Greco's Drive

March 26, 1998|DAVE DESMOND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LA CRESCENTA — Michelle Greco turned 18 on Tuesday but she has yet to get her driver's license.

It seems she has been too busy the past two years traveling to all-star camps, national tournaments and generally reigning over the sport of girls' basketball in the region.

There simply was no opportunity for the All-American to commit to time-consuming driver's education and training classes.

The Crescenta Valley High senior with the lightning-quick first step had an unlimited license to drive on the court and it resulted in a wonderful four-year ride for Crescenta Valley and Greco's second award as The Times' Valley player of the year.

Greco led the Falcons to three consecutive Pacific League titles. She averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds this season and finished her career with 2,397 points.

Only Thousand Oaks' Michelle Palmisano, with 2,796 points, has ever scored more in the region.

"That girl has done more for Crescenta Valley basketball than anybody will ever have a chance to do now or in the future," Coach Damian Scribner said. "Michelle Greco has been the cornerstone of our foundation and has shown us how to win here."

The girl who considered herself more of a soccer player until the seventh grade was named the state's freshman, sophomore and junior girls' basketball player of the year.

Last winter, she fulfilled a lifelong dream by accepting a scholarship to play at her favorite college, UCLA.

Greco has become such a hometown hero, that her warmup jersey and several of her awards--including the 1996-97 L.A. Times Cheryl Miller Award as Southern California's top player--are displayed in a showcase at the ESPN store at the Glendale Galleria.

"But I would give away all those honors for a championship," said Greco, who thinks daily about top-ranked Crescenta Valley's last-second loss to El Toro in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs.

Greco, 5 feet 10, drove her team to the quarterfinals as a freshman, the semifinals as a sophomore and to the final as a junior. This season was supposed to mark her turn to be a champion.

"I'm so competitive," Greco said. "That's why it bothers me so much. Something I wanted really, really bad I just couldn't get."

It's enough to drive her to distraction.

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