These ath­letes stay busy in sum­mer tour­na­ments

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - ERIC SONDHEIMER ON HIGH SCHOOLS Twit­ter: @LATSond­heimer

Sum­mer va­ca­tion is un­der­way for high school stu­dents, but that hardly means it’s beach time, movie time or even video game time for prep ath­letes.

In some ways, teenage life in June, July and Au­gust can be busier than when school is in ses­sion, and for fans, it’s a great time to get an early peek at who’s mak­ing im­prove­ments and which teams might emerge as the best for the up­com­ing sea­son.

In prep bas­ket­ball, one of the top tour­na­ments of the sum­mer be­gins Mon­day at Fair­fax High. Chino Hills faces Loy­ola in a 7:30 p.m. game.

If you want en­ter­tain­ment, go see Chino Hills’ Ball broth­ers, se­nior Lonzo, ju­nior LiAn­gelo and fresh­man LaMelo. All three are ex­pected to end up at UCLA.

Lonzo and LiAn­gelo are com­mit­ted to the Bru­ins, but LaMelo is only 13 years old. In his first ap­pear­ance with his broth­ers Tues­day, LaMelo scored 27 points, mak­ing five three-point­ers.

“They’ve been pre­par­ing for this mo­ment their whole lives,” Coach Steve Baik said of the Ball broth­ers play­ing to­gether.

While other play­ers leave for camps and com­pe­ti­tions, the trio is stick­ing to­gether this sum­mer. Their fa­ther, LaVar, makes it clear he’s not con­cerned about in­di­vid­ual player rank­ings that come out of camp ap­pear­ances. He said it’s the opin­ion of UCLA Coach Steve Al­ford that mat­ters most to him.

“The only rank­ings I care about is where Al­ford ranks my boys,” he said. “High school rank­ings are not what my boys are about. We have steps to take. We’re go­ing one at a time.”

The Fair­fax tour­na­ment, at least in the early rounds, will be fun to watch be­cause most teams will be close to full strength.

Among the other teams en­tered:

De­fend­ing state Di­vi­sion V cham­pion Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, with Cody Ri­ley, De­vearl Ram­sey and Ira Lee

Santa Ana Mater Dei, with M.J. Cage and Santa Mon­ica trans­fer Spencer Freedman

De­fend­ing state Di­vi­sion IV cham­pion En­cino Crespi, with De’An­thony Mel­ton Wind­ward, with Sha­reef O’Neal, Shaquille’s son

Corona Cen­ten­nial, with UCLA-bound Ike Anig­bogu and top ju­nior Jalen Hill

Mis­sion Hills Bishop Ale­many, with the duo of Shac­quille Dawkins and Daron Hen­son

De­fend­ing City Sec­tion cham­pion Fair­fax Or­ange Lutheran Santa Mon­ica Long Beach Poly Pasadena Maranatha

The travel ball sea­son will pick up steam in July, with ev­ery­one headed to Las Ve­gas at the end of the month for tour­na­ment ac­tion.

Football seven-on-seven pass­ing tour­na­ments are plen­ti­ful. This week­end, the Conejo Val­ley tour­na­ment will take place at Thou­sand Oaks and New­bury Park. On Sun­day, there’s a 16-team tour­na­ment at Stub­Hub Cen­ter in Car­son fea­tur­ing Long Beach Poly, Santa Mar­garita, Loy­ola, Nar­bonne and West­lake, among oth­ers.

On June 26-27, Bonita is host­ing a tour­na­ment in La Verne. Then comes the top tour­na­ment of the sum­mer on July 11 at Hunt­ing­ton Beach Edi­son, where Corona Cen­ten­nial, Mater Dei and Bellflower St. John Bosco are among the teams en­tered. On July 18, Hunt­ing­ton Beach has a tour­na­ment that in­cludes Crespi and Te­soro.

The first day of of­fi­cial football prac­tice is Aug. 3.

In boys’ vol­ley­ball, the na­tional ju­nior cham­pi­onships take place June 28-July 5 in Colum­bus, Ohio.

In girls’ vol­ley­ball, the na­tional ju­nior cham­pi­onships be­gin Tues­day in New Or­leans.

In prep base­ball, the Area Code Games are set for Aug. 4-11 at Blair Field in Long Beach. The games fea­ture top pro prospects for the 2016 draft.

Francine Orr Los An­ge­les Times

BROTH­ERS L aMELO BALL, left, fresh­man, se­nior Lonzo, and ju­nior LiAn­gelo, who play to­gether at Chino Hills, will face Loy­ola in a sum­mer tour­na­ment game.

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