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Daily Pilot Boys' Basketball Dream Team: Sargeant an example of all-out hustle

Newport Harbor senior, who left it all on court each time he stepped on it as a dynamic guard, is Dream Team Player of the Year.

April 11, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

In the desert, in triple-digit heat, and on asphalt, Nic Sargeant has the urge to play basketball. He misses the sport that much.

Sargeant is spending spring break in La Quinta, where he and a half dozen of his closest friends rented out a house with a pool. A volleyball net is set up in the back, but if it were up to Sargeant, there would also be a portable basketball goal.

Sargeant last suited up for the Newport Harbor High boys' basketball team on Feb. 21. Almost two months have passed since the Sailors' season ended in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs.

There is one more game left in Sargeant, one more game to represent his school on the basketball court. And that's why he's coming home early, leaving all the fun and heat behind in the desert, just to compete again.

Sargeant is playing in the 49th edition of the Orange County North-South All-Star Game at Concordia University on Saturday at 7 p.m. Every player will get at least 8 minutes of action, 4 for every half. If 8 minutes is all Sargeant is limited to, fans will see Sargeant make the most of his time.

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Sargeant gave it his all every time he stepped in the gym. He willed the Sailors to their best Sunset League finish in six seasons. Placing third, with Sargeant as the lone returning starter on the team, was no easy task in the brutal league.

None of it came easy, yet Sargeant, a 5-foot-11 guard, accepted the daily challenge. His senior season proved to be his best and the one in which Sargeant earned the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year award in boys' basketball.

During his three seasons as a starter, Sargeant matured and the team grew competitive. He listened and assumed a leadership role. Every season Newport Harbor improved, from fifth place, to fourth, and then third.

The Sailors qualified for the postseason for the second straight time this past season. The consecutive playoff appearances marked the Sailors' first since the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, their first two back in the Sunset League.

Those two seasons were also the last time Newport Harbor didn't finish with a losing record. Then Sargeant, in the past two seasons, led the Sailors each time to a 14-14 overall record.

Coach Bob Torribio wasn't kidding when he said the Sailors relied on Sargeant to make plays. And he delivered, leading the team in points (17.5), rebounds (seven), assists (3.6), three-pointers (1.8) and steals (1.7) per game.

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