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PREP BASKETBALL * STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Chandler's Perfect Ending Wrecked by Injury

March 16, 2001|GARY KLEIN

Tyson Chandler looked forward to ending his high school career with a flourish.

The 7-foot-1 Compton Dominguez center wanted to lead the Dons to a third consecutive state Division II title before heading off to the next level--college or perhaps the NBA.

But a severely sprained right ankle suffered in a state regional semifinal victory over Inglewood dashed those hopes.

Chandler was on the bench in street clothes last weekend when Dominguez defeated Redondo Beach Redondo Union in the regional final, his right ankle encased in a knee-high cast. The cast is scheduled to be removed today--the day Dominguez plays Mountain View St. Francis for the state title at Arco Arena in Sacramento--but could be reapplied for another week if the injury is not healing properly, Chandler said.

"It's kind of day-to-day," Chandler said. "As long as we win the state championship, it won't be too much of a disappointment."

Chandler's status for the annual McDonald's All-Star game March 28 at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium is also questionable. Chandler, Lakewood Mayfair's Josh Childress and Mater Dei's Cedric Bozeman are among 12 players on the West team.

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

Chandler said he will wait until the high school season is complete before announcing his plans.

"I'm about ready to have a press conference," he said. "But I don't want my teammates to have any distractions."

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