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It's Chandler Again

Dominguez Star Earns Second Consecutive Award as Top Boys' Player

April 19, 2001|GARY KLEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tyson Chandler of Compton Dominguez High watched the final two games of his prep career from the bench.

An ankle injury suffered in a state regional semifinal victory left Chandler, a 7-foot-1 senior, as the biggest cheerleader in California.

"I would have liked to have been out there," Chandler said after Dominguez won the Division II state championship game against Mountain View St. Francis. "But the important thing is that the team won. It's nice to see some of the other guys get attention."

Chandler probably received more attention during his high school career than any player in Los Angeles-area history.

And despite the injury that cut short his senior season, he is the winner of his second consecutive George Yardley Award, presented annually by The Times to the top boys' basketball player in Southern California.

Chandler, a McDonald's All-American who averaged 26 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots this season, is expected to bypass college and is projected as a possible lottery pick in this year's NBA draft.

"He's been a great player throughout his career here," said Steve Singleton, who took over as Dominguez's interim coach just before the season and guided the Dons to their third consecutive state championship. "He's always put the team before his individual accomplishments. But when he needed to assert himself, he did it."

The Dons were eliminated from the state playoffs in Chandler's freshman season, but he had five points, five rebounds and five blocks in the Division II state final as a sophomore, and had 25 points, 16 rebounds and 14 blocks in the 2000 final.

Chandler scored 22 points and had 15 rebounds for Dominguez in this season's Southern Section Division II-AA championship-game victory over Inglewood.

But six days later against the same team, he severely sprained his ankle while going after a rebound with about seven minutes left.

"Getting injured is not how I wanted to end my [high school] career," Chandler said. "But everything happens for a reason."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Boys' Player of the Year

George Yardley Award winners:

* 2001: Tyson Chandler, Compton Dominguez

* 2000: Tyson Chandler, Compton Dominguez

* 1999: Casey Jacobsen, Glendora

* 1998: Tayshaun Prince, Compton Dominguez

* 1997: Baron Davis, Santa Monica Crossroads

* 1996: Corey Benjamin, Fontana

* 1995: Paul Pierce, Inglewood

* 1994: Jelani Gardner, Bellflower St. John Bosco

* 1993: Jacque Vaughn, Pasadena Muir

* 1992: Charles O'Bannon, Lakewood Artesia

* 1991: Cherokee Parks, Huntington Beach Marina

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