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SCCS' More than an Athlete: Glenn Eberlein

Eberlein learned the value of humilty and service this past year

Posted: June 16, 2014 9:35 p.m.
Updated: June 16, 2014 9:35 p.m.

Santa Clarita Christian football/basketball player Glenn Eberlein learned humility and service as a senior.

 

Editor’s note: Today marks the seventh in a series in which we recognize athletes at the local high schools who represent their respective schools not so much by what they do on the field, but off of it. We call them “More than an athlete.”

Five games into the boys basketball season, Glenn Eberlein was the least inspirational player on his team.

For three years, he had given his all to the Santa Clarita Christian boys basketball program.

He was the only four-year player on the team. This was his 13th year at the private Christian school — kindergarten to 12th grade.

But a slew of talented transfers came in, dropping him down the depth chart and out of the starting lineup.

“I felt the sense of entitlement to be a leader and I wasn’t able to do it,” Eberlein says. “It was complete selfishness wanting to be the center of attention.”

What stands out about Eberlein isn’t his academic achievements, community service or that he had to overcome seemingly overwhelming adversity.

It’s that sports developed his character and taught him for future challenges in life that we is bigger than me.

“I could definitely feel he wanted to play, like any kid would want to,” says SCCS head coach James Mosley. “One reason I gave him the award is a lot of kids can be a negative influence and stop serving and want to do the things they did in the past. He still considered others as he got over his initial frustration.

“He’s an influence on the campus in a positive way. He stayed the course.”

The award?

Stay the course and we’ll get there.

****

Glenn Eberlein’s oldest sister, Karla, played basketball, volleyball and softball at SCCS. His older sister, Katie, did the same. His older brother, Sean, played football and basketball.

So Glenn followed in their footsteps.

However, after having a blast in his third varsity football season, his expectations coming in for his senior basketball season were high.

The Cardinals were 4-1 after five games and were an exciting up-tempo team led by the transfer players.

But Glenn found a reason to be unhappy.

“At practice I was just being a downer, not going hard in drills,” Eberlein says.

He told Sean he was thinking about quitting.

“I told him, ‘A lot of things will happen when you leave (school). You should play. There’s no reason you shouldn’t play. You will have fun. Take advantage of the time. This is just another struggle. You’ll grow from it,’” Sean recalls.

Sean’s next point was stronger.

“I don’t remember the minutes or plays during basketball games (when I played),” Sean began. “All I remember is the people I played with. That’s what matters to me.”

Some of those people are now Sean’s best friends.

“My brother helped me realize it’s not always about you,” Glenn says.

The message Sean sent is that there was so much more than playing time. There are things Glenn’s basketball experience would reinforce — like humility and service

Humility and service, Glenn says, are part of his summers.

He works for a week at Vacation Bible School helping his mother in the kitchen at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita.

“That’s really helped me being an athlete at SCCS,” Glenn says. “Athletes are looked up to at SCCS. Working at Vacation Bible School is very humbling. Working the kitchen, doing the dirty work, not being noticed. It’s cool not to be noticed. It’s very humbling.”

Glenn’s football coach Garrick Moss says Glenn made a big impact on his son Jacob in football season.

Both were teammates on the basketball team and in Glenn, Jacob saw someone he looked up to.

Moss, who kept score on the sidelines for the basketball team, says Glenn’s unhappiness wasn’t all that noticeable.

But the difference was.

“His attitude turned into, ‘I’m going to a be the team leader and lead not by my play, but my work ethic,” Moss says. “He would lead in sprints and conditioning. ... It really defined who he is. He wanted the team to do well. His role was the glue guy, hold the team together because of all the new guys. I can tell you this, everybody looks up to him on the basketball and football team.”

SCCS basketball made it to its first-ever CIF championship game.

It was the program’s most successful season.

Mosley says he put Glenn in to get in the other team’s face on defense.

That sort of tenacity, a constant cheering on of his teammates, and a willingness to help (even sweeping the floor), made Glenn a great teammate.

He’s thinking about joining the military — there’s that service and humility theme again.

At the end of the season, when the school announced its awards for its winter sports, SCCS gave its “Most Inspirational Player” award to an obvious choice.

Glenn Eberlein.

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