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Bradley made most of it

Daily Pilot Boys' Basketball Dream Team

Corona del Mar High senior was granted eligibilty after transferring and became top player in Newport-Mesa area.

March 31, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

Marcus Bradley was not supposed to play at Corona del Mar High this past boys' basketball season.

The senior moved into the area to live with his grandparents in June. He said the move away from his parents in Beaumont was for personal reasons.

Three months later, the CIF Southern Section thought Bradley's move was for personal gains on the court.

The section ruled Bradley athletically ineligible, believing the transfer to CdM, his third school in four years, was athletically motivated. Without basketball, the 6-foot-6 forward said he was unsure what he would do.

Bradley's grandfather, Jim Hauke, spoke up. Hauke, who also became Bradley's guardian, appealed the denial through the CIF State office.

Bradley is thankful grandpa had his back. The state approved Bradley's hardship appeal two months before the start of the season.

With the opportunity to play again, Bradley made the most of it. Bradley turned in the best season of any of the local players, earning him the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year award.

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Bradley was a highlight reel, attacking the basket at will. Not many stood a chance at slowing him down when he touched the ball in the paint.

The No. 1 on the back of Bradley's jersey was there for a reason. He was the Sea Kings' go-to player and he delivered, a averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

And Bradley performed in what one can argue was the toughest nonleague schedule in the state.

The Sea Kings played elite programs, Long Beach Poly, the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA champion, Loyola of Los Angeles, the Division I-A champion, Capistrano Valley, the Division I-A runner-up, Taft of Woodland Hills, the Los Angeles City Section Division I champion, Westchester of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles City Section Division I runner-up, and Lutheran of La Verne and Crespi of Encino, semifinalists in the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA and Division III-A playoffs, respectively.

After helping CdM win a share of the Pacific Coast League title, Bradley led the program to a respectable run in the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoffs, considered the toughest division behind the biggest, Division I-AA. The Sea Kings lost a close one at Lutheran, 53-49.

Ending the season with a loss was disappointing for Bradley and the Sea Kings (19-10, 8-2 in league), who believed they could contend for a section crown. The ride in the postseason resulted in Bradley advancing past the first round for the first time.

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