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Taller Than She Looks

Posted: February 4, 2008 4:09 a.m.
Updated: April 6, 2008 2:03 a.m.
 
As you can probably tell from my photo, I'm 5-foot-10. An inch or so taller if I'm wearing shoes.

As someone who once assumed he'd have won at least a couple of NBA slam dunk contests by now and instead has not even been invited to participate, I understood the importance of size in basketball for those of us not gifted with the ability to dribble like a Harlem Globetrotter or shoot 3-pointers like they were layups.
Really, I did.
But I just wrote understood and did instead of understand and do for a reason, and that reason is Hart's Megan Ford.
Height-shmeit, I now say.
The Indians senior center is 5-foot-11. Six-foot if you ask her, but I don't really buy it. She's someone Golden Valley head coach David Smith called a "monster" after the most recent time his Grizzlies played her.
Then he told me that his team had just been beat by an NCAA Division I-bound player.
"A legitimate one," he said.
In a rush. I neglected to tell the first-year Grizzlies head coach, that Ford actually isn't one.
Not quite tall enough.
Though Ford has good size for a high school post player, she is apparently too small to attract the attention from major programs at power forward or center.
Cal Poly Pomona, an NCAA Division II school, nabbed a commitment from last year's Foothill League MVP and Signal All-Santa Clarita Valley Player of the Year, before this season.
Let this column be an official neener, neener, neener to the programs that passed on her.
Ford is scoring more than 20 points per game, a nice jump from last year's 12-per contest.
On a Hart team playing eight-minute quarters and averaging 52 points per game, for one player to average 20 points isn't easy.
It takes a great player to do it.
She's led the Indians to the brink of a seventh straight Foothill League title despite the squad returning just one starter.
It's helped that the one returner is someone capable of scoring only three fewer points than Valencia's entire team through three quarters and outscoring all of Canyon by one point at halftime.
Hart head coach Zach Koebel, after calling Ford the most coachable athlete he's ever worked with, compared Ford to the all-time Hart greats - players like Taylor Lilley and Ashlee Trebilcock, who are now starters for Oregon and Ohio State, respectively.
Her league opponents would be hard-pressed to disagree.
Through eight Foothill League games, she's averaging 19.8 points and is easily the valley's best rebounder.
This after breaking Hart single-game records for rebounds (20) and field goals (14) during nonleague games.
Her problem? Lilley and Trebilcock are both guards.
She isn't.
And it's impossible to get her to complain about it.
The senior is happy about playing for D-II Pomona in the future, as an avid horseback rider, is excited to be attending a school which will let her bring her horses along and is basically incapable of selfish thoughts anyway.
When I mentioned her 27 points against Canyon Friday to her, she shot me the same look I'd give someone who told me their favorite color.
(Fighting to make fake smile look as genuine as possible). Oh really? How fascinating?
She politely said she didn't care much. The senior said she was more excited about Koebel, a first-year head coach replacing the legendary Dave Munroe, proving his critics wrong and marching the team to the brink of a championship in his first try.
Fair enough.
But with all due respect to Koebel and the storms he's weathered to keep his program on top, I've been more impressed with the way she's making blushers out of hers.

Andrew Barlam is a Signal staff writer. He can be reached at abarlam@the-signal.com. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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