There have been plenty of standout underclassmen guards who have enjoyed success while playing for the La Cañada High boys’ basketball team.
Include Koko Kurdoghlian among those who have flourished while helping further the rich tradition that’s been instilled by veteran La Cañada Coach Tom Hofman for the past 28 seasons.
Kurdoghlian had little difficulty showcasing his skills throughout the season and additionally impressing the Rio Hondo League’s six coaches.
“You could see what he’s meant to us the last two years,” Hofman said of Kurdoghlian, who was named the league’s most valuable player after helping the Spartans to a league championship and a trip to the CIF Southern Section Division III-A semifinals. “He’s just begun to scratch the surface.
“He’s one of the best rebounders we’ve had in the program’s history and he’s deserving of being named the league MVP.”
Kurdoghlian averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per games. He also finished with 65 steals and 120 assists while playing in all 30 games for the Spartans.
With Kurdoghlian leading the way, the Spartans finished 23-7 and 10-0 in league for the program’s 22nd league crown under Hofman’s guidance.
“It’s great to be recognized like this because I’ve put in a lot of time and hard work to get better,” Kurdoghlian said. “It’s cool and I tried to go out there and not worry about anything else.
“You try to be good in a lot of different areas. I had to go out there and rebound, but at the same time find ways to help us on offense.”
Grant Arthur, a sophomore guard, was an All-Rio Hondo League first-team pick, as he complimented Kurdoghlian well and helped stabilize La Cañada’s offensive attack. Arthur averaged 12 points per game and converted on 84 three-pointers to add another dimension for the Spartans.
“You could just see him keep on improving,” Hofman said. “He’s a great shooter and he worked very well with Koko.
“I think Grant is probably the second best defender on the team. I also think he’s got the potential to be one of the best shooters in the team’s history.”
Earning spots on the second team were senior forward Kyle Thomas and senior guard Dan Jun.
Thomas averaged six points and five rebounds per contest. Jun averaged eight points a game. He collected 114 assists and 56 steals.
“Kyle was often the backbone of our team,” Hofman said. “Dan provided great leadership and court awareness.”
Earning honorable mention were senior forward Jacob Brown (six points and four rebounds per game) and senior guard Kevin DePriest (six points per game).