Mamadou Ndiaye, 7 foot 5 basketball player at Brethren Christian. (Brethren Christian High…)
The tallest high school basketball player in California and maybe in the nation is 7-foot-5 Mamadou Ndiaye, a native of Senegal who has been cleared by the Southern Section to play this season for Huntington Beach Brethren Christian.
"That's a legit 7-5 without shoes," Coach Jon Bahnsen said.
Ndiaye, a junior, attended Simi Valley Stoneridge Prep last season and received a medical hardship waiver from the Southern Section to play this season. His guardians reside not far from Brethren Christian, which competed in Division 5A last season.
"He's going to be pretty phenomenal, especially for our league," Bahnsen said. "He's extremely strong."
Another strong center to watch is 6-10 junior Emmanuel Ndumanya, a native of Nigeria who plays for Gardena Serra. Last week, he shattered a glass backboard in the gym with a dunk. The cost for a new backboard was $1,500. Coach Dwan Hurt had better start asking for donations in case more glass comes tumbling down.
Jeff Kim, a standout running back at Irvine Beckman, moved from South Korea to Southern California when he was an eighth-grader. He didn't play football until he was a sophomore.
"I had no clue about football," he said.
A dislocated elbow in his first game wiped out his sophomore year. As a junior, he rushed for 1,676 yards. He missed three games this season while sitting out for a team rules violation, but he has returned to rush for 179 and 248 yards in his last two games.
He scored five touchdowns last week against Irvine Northview. He's a 5-11, 193-pound senior with 4.5 40-yard speed. He has gone from being a soccer player to embracing football.
"I love it," he said.
He has rushed for 606 yards and 10 touchdowns in four games.
Zander Anding of Burbank Burroughs has rushed for 300 or more yards in four consecutive games. Three times this season, he has set single-game school rushing records, including a high game of 393 yards.
"He breaks tackles and is the fastest guy we've had," Coach Keith Knoop said.
Anding has rushed for 1,901 yards and scored 19 touchdowns.
33 TDs and counting
Senior running back-defensive back Dejon Coleman of Arleta has scored 33 touchdowns in seven games and has 1,205 yards rushing.
Arleta Coach Dan Kelley, who was an assistant at Sylmar when the Spartans were turning out top players under Jeff Engilman, said, "He's right there with the elite players from Sylmar."
Palisades' basketball and volleyball teams have received an infusion of talent with the arrival of twins Colton and Dakota Chambers. The 6-6 Colton and the 6-7 Dakota are juniors who moved from Arizona. Their father is 6-10 Tom Chambers, who was a four-time NBA All-Star.
Calling Packers fans
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is scheduled to return to his alma mater, Agoura High, on Friday to be honored during homecoming festivities, along with former teammate Joey LaRocque.
No word yet if every fan will receive a bottle of shampoo in honor of Matthews' hair-product endorsements.
Chatsworth Sierra Canyon named former Van Nuys Montclair Prep baseball coach Rick Weber as its new coach. The only problem is Weber didn't bring along any of his top players after the school dropped its sports program.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the CIF Southern Section in 2012-13, the organization intends to choose the 100 greatest athletes in Southern Section history.
From Jackie Robinson (Pasadena Muir) to Frankie Albert (Glendale), from Allyson Felix (North Hills L.A. Baptist) to Ann Meyers Drysdale (La Habra Sonora), the number of worthy candidates is going to be immense.
Senior guard Nick Stover of Los Angeles Windward, younger brother of UCLA center Anthony Stover, has committed to Loyola Marymount. He averaged 15.9 points as a junior. He's 6-5 and still growing.