AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA MIRADA – Playing on the varsity basketball team at La Mirada High School isn’t all about athletics anymore, says head coach Jack Dunbar. After hearing from coaches at other schools about the benefits of having young athletes perform community service, Dunbar decided it was time to do the same at La Mirada High.And that’s exactly what his varsity players were doing Friday on their day off from school. They were reading to third-graders at nearby La Pluma Elementary School and talking to them about keeping up their grades, working hard and staying away from drugs and alcohol.“We’re trying to teach the kids that there’s more to life than basketball,” Dunbar said. “What we’re doing \ is nice, but our long-term goal is to do much more because these are such good young men.”Friday’s visit was arranged by Larry Kaupang, the varsity team’s assistant coach and a third-grade teacher at La Pluma. Kaupang’s son, Stephen, plays on the varsity team as well.Kaupang said he remembered when his children were younger and developed friendships with older athletes who would sign autographs for them and encourage them.“For the older kids, it’s important for them to know they’re role models,” Kaupang said. “And it’s important for the young kids to see how it is in high school.”On Friday, the varsity players were divided into small groups and dispatched to four different third-grade classrooms, including Kaupang’s.They took turns reading a book to the class, then took general questions from the youngsters about basketball and school.Then the third-graders were able to read to the older students and ask more questions.“Everybody benefits,” Dunbar said. “We want these young men not to just give back to the community, but to develop a lifetime of volunteering – to learn that this is something to do all the time, not just one time.” [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051
SASKATOON – Humboldt Broncos player Evan Thomas was remembered Monday as a humble and compassionate young man who wanted a career in medicine.A memorial was held this afternoon for the 18-year-old in his hometown of Saskatoon.Mini hockey sticks were handed out to people as they entered SaskTel Centre.Family members walked into the service beneath hockey sticks raised in the air by Thomas’s friends and former teammates.Mourners heard that Thomas, nicknamed E.T., was also passionate about playing baseball and was brilliant in school, winning a top science award in Grade 11.Thomas and 15 others on the Saskatchewan junior hockey team’s bus died after a collision between it and a semi-truck on April 6.