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High Schools | SPOTLIGHT ON GIRLS' BASKETBALL

Yoshida Enjoys Double Feature

January 22, 2002|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Wendell Yoshida gave a thumb's up to Disney's "Double Teamed," a movie about Heather and Heidi Burge, who played for Yoshida's Palos Verdes High girls' basketball team in the late 1980s. The movie debuted Friday.

"I thought it had some good motivational parts, especially for girls, that sports can take you somewhere," Yoshida said. "The basketball part was funny because it was all made up."

One of the major inaccuracies was the twins' immediate rise. In real life, they didn't play on varsity as freshmen, though both eventually reached the WNBA. As juniors in 1988, they led Palos Verdes to the state finals but lost. Yoshida's teams won state titles in 1991 and in 1992, claiming the mythical national title with a 33-0 record.

Yoshida said it was odd seeing himself portrayed by actor Joey Miyashima, "who just happened to be one of my wife's high school classmates," he said.

How close was the celluloid Yoshida to the real thing? "I wasn't that nice," he said.

Yoshida, who has a 440-178 record and six Southern Section titles in 22 years, said Monday that this season or next may be his last as coach at Peninsula. He is applying for one of Peninsula's athletic director positions, which will open when Palos Verdes reopens in the fall with freshmen and sophomores. Palos Verdes, Miraleste and Rolling Hills highs consolidated 12 years ago to form Peninsula.

"It's getting close to the end," Yoshida said. "I think I've given a lot to this game when women's basketball was just developing, and now it has exploded."

No problem: Richard Marquis, coach for No. 12 Alhambra Keppel, remains on leave pending an investigation for undisclosed reasons by the Alhambra School District.

Keppel, under the guidance of junior varsity coach Tan Ha, had few problems without Marquis. The Aztecs are 3-0 in his absence, including wins over rivals Alhambra Schurr, 63-54, and Bell Gardens, 84-58.

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