bilbewJulius Bilbrew graduated from Inglewood High School in 2011.  He received a scholarship to D-1 Fresno State University and headed up north after graduation.  Alas, the way I understand it, Bilbrew was unable to enroll at Fresno State after running into issues with the NCAA clearinghouse.  Bilbrew was as shocked as the head coach at Fresno State was and he headed back home.  Julius decided that he wanted to play basketball at the D-1 level and joined Antelope Valley College in the 2012-13 season.  That summer season for Bilbrew was unbelievable.  Draining long 3-balls, slashing the middle for thunderous dunks.  The sideline was crowded with D-1 coaches with oohs and aahs on their lips. 

Julius start as a freshman in the 2012-13 year and although he had several good games, his concentration and ability to play at a high level continued to drop through out the season.   He lost his starting job and finally left the team with one game left in the season.  He worked out with a number of JUCO teams but things did not workout for him.

During the 2013-14 season, it became clear that Julius was working his way through some personal issues.   As he worked through his personal issues he also got serious about his academics during the 2013-14 season. 

This summer, there was a meeting between the coaching staff and Bilbrew who said his personal issues had been solved once and for all and he was now ready to live up to the potential he has always had.  The coaching staff and Julius  came to an agreement on bottom line expectations he would have to live up to stay with the AVC team.

It has been a painful experience watching this talented young man go through his issues in his past three years.  He knows that his clock is clicking along on his eligibility to play D-1 ball.  He has solved his personal issues and now has that joyful look when he is on the floor.  He has become a team player and it looks to me that he may shock a bunch of people this year who have written him off.  Could just be a really big year for Bilbrew. 

DSC_0077Graduated from Lawndale after taking them to a 20-win season and to the CIF Southern Section Division III-AAA quarterfinals in 2012.  He scored to 9.0 PPG, 1.9 APG, and 1.0 steals.  He headed out to Conner State College a national JUCO for one year where he injured(dislocated) his ankle.  In 2013-14 Rolland headed to Germany to rehabilitate his ankle.  He played for Munich North Team Basketball, which is similar to a prep school academy.


The LA Daily News interviewed Rolland last year while he was in Germany. 

Pearsall playing in Munich

Lawndale High graduate Rolland Pearsall has taken a unique journey to try and get his basketball career on path.

Pearsall, who led Lawndale to a 20-win season and to the CIF Southern Section Division III-AAA quarterfinals last season, is playing in Germany for Munich North Team Basketball, which is similar to an academy, where he can develop his game and even take some classes while trying to draw interest from colleges.

Pearsall is back to health and going strong after suffering a dislocated ankle. "I went here because it gives me another prep year for college after my injury," Pearsall said. "I’m doing great and loving it out here. I’m learning the European style of play and mixing it with the American style. It will be to my advantage when I go back for college."  Pearsall is playing point guard, and said his game is coming along very well. "My ball-handling and shooting have improved a lot," Pearsall said. I’m really learning the point guard spot and becoming a true point guard."

Pearsall said he’s being recruited by Holy Cross and the University of San Francisco.


Pearsall decided to  join the Antelope Valley College team for a number of reasons.  He knew several of the players on the team and style of play.  AVC’s record of sending 90% of their players who make the team to universities on full ride scholarships was very important to Pearsall.   Rolland will strengthen AVC at a key position, point guard. 

A miracle of medicine?  The 6’9”, 235 big man is running the floor.  So what you say?  After he graduated from the Highland high school in 2011 and the best he could do was walk the floor. His knees hurt and he decided to sit out of basketball for a year to heal the sore knees.

Aaron is enigmatic.  When you see him towering out there 6’9″, 235 with his 7 foot wing span you say, “D-1 Basketball Star.”  As you get to know him a little better you notice how quiet and affable he is.  Then you find out that he has a great genetic propensity for basketball as his father played in the NBA and European Pro-basketball.

Two years later, three surgeries later is back on the floor with a big smile on his face.  Don’t get me wrong, he is still working hard to rebuild his legs to make them strong enough to handle the stress of college basketball.  A man worth watching.

It’s been a few days since I sat down at the computer and and updated what has been going on with the Antelope Valley College Basketball team.  Been a busy summer; re-piping the house, a couple of vacations, upgrading the watering system(important stuff in the desert) and becoming one of the top 10 reviewers of restaurants, hotels, etc. in the Antelope Valley in Trip Advisor.  Add to that meetings with the  community based committee planning fundraising activities for the basketball team.   Like I said, busy summer.

Now it’s time however to get back on reporting about the Antelope Valley College basketball team.  The coaching staff, professors and the team met yesterday.  While the majority of the team are sophomores and know the drill, AVC has added a number of very interesting players that I will be high-lighting in the next couple of months.    The meeting was an orientation and a meet and greet for some of the new players.  With classes starting today, August 18, 2014, the players were discussing their class schedules and summer vacations. 

The orientation meeting subject material was very interesting.  10%-Personal responsibility/social media; 30% basketball; 60% academics.  Showed a lot about how important academics are to the AVC program.  The team was quiet, attentive and looked ready for the up and coming season. 

Say tuned, more to come.

dewayne dunk (2)Happy Birthday to Antelope Valley College’s Dewayne Dedmon, currently with the Orlando Magic.  Getting better every year!


Good news about Antelope Valley’s Paul George,

Indianapolis Pacer’s, in the Antelope Valley Press:  The Pacer’s expect a full recovery from the compound fracture he experienced 11 days ago as doctors told team the injury didn’t include ligaments or tendons. 

 

The Antelope Valley Press named the best high school basketball players in the Antelope Valley for the 2014 graduates.


Burleson, Bryant named players of year

By: Merisa Jensen

Devin Burleson came to Highland and took the Golden League boys basketball scene by storm.

Brennen Bryant proved that he could hang with the best of the best in a solid Alpha League season.

For their efforts, Burleson was named the Valley Press Large Schools Player of the Year and Bryant was named the Valley Press Small Schools Player of the Year.

Bryant earned several awards throughout the season, culminating with being the only Valley player to be named to the all-CIF First Team.

He was unanimously voted to the all-Alpha League team. The junior was also named tournament MVP at both the Wasco Tournament and the Roadrunner Classic, while also earning all-tournament honors at the Arroyo Tournament.

Bryant scored 21.2 points and brought down 10.8 rebounds per game, despite playing in a league where every team reached the playoffs.

Sierra Canyon won the Open Division consolation title, while Windward lost in the Division 4A championship game. Campbell Hall fell in the Division 4A semifinals to the eventual champion, Brentwood lost in the quarterfinals and Viewpoint lost in the second round, while Paraclete lost in the second round of the Division 4AA playoffs.

Bryant scored in double digits in every Alpha League game, often recording a double-double, despite being double- and triple-teamed by every team during the season.

"Every game, they’re always triple-, double-teaming me," Bryant said after a Jan. 24 game. "It’s tough. I’m pretty tired right now. … But I’m kind of getting used to it now."

That won’t change next season now that Bryant, who has received interest from Division 1 basketball programs, is more well-known in the league.

Bryant was praised often by Paraclete first-year coach Tim Atkerson not only for his talent but for his work ethic and attitude on the court.

It was a rough season for the Spirits, but Bryant held strong. He scored a game-high 30 points with nine rebounds in a large-margin loss to Campbell Hall. He never gave up on the Spirits.

Burleson was strong in the middle for the Bulldogs.

"He’s a presence in the middle," said Highland coach Jeff Smith after a win over Lancaster on Dec. 10. "He’s one of those guys that people get tentative to drive to."

Teams had to go through him if they wanted to beat Highland, which shared the GL title with Quartz Hill this year.

"(Burleson) is a force to be reckoned with," Lancaster coach Sid Melvin said after the Dec. 10 game. "We couldn’t do nothing with him."

The senior recorded 17.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks a game. He also posted 18 assists and 20 steals during the season.

"My goal is to be an anchor defensively and to crash the boards offensively and clean up when our shooters aren’t on and just be a leader of the team," Burleson said after a Dec. 18 win over Quartz Hill.

Though he has played basketball most of his life, Burleson tried football last fall and fell in love with the sport. He credited his training on the grid iron to his strong play on the court.

"With the weightlifting that I got from football, I feel like there’s not anybody who can stop me out here down low," Burleson said. "I think that’s the mindset that you need to have, because once you start to believe someone can stop you, they will stop you."

Burleson will play football at the University of Washington in the fall.

mjensen@avpress.com

Spending a quiet few weeks in late summer at the beach and fixing up things around home.  All kinds of “activities” going on regarding the AVC Basketball team.  Gonna sit tight with it and hit you all at once.  Should be a fun year!