July 18, 2013
By Kenneth Miller
Assistant Managing Editor
The start of the high school basketball season doesn’t tip off till four months from now, but gauntlet has already been dropped by Serra High School of Gardena, which recently defeated Mater Dei.
Although rules prohibit him from being on the sideline with his team, veteran coach Dwan Hurt has observed closely and he adores what he has seen so far.
Led by seniors Tavrion Dawson and Ron Freeman, the back-to-back CIF-SS champions have served notice of what is to come this fall by winning the prestigious St. John Bosco tournament.
Dawson, a growing 6’8 lefty has drawn scholarship offers from Tim Floyd’s University of Texas El Paso, Arizona State, Pepperdine, New Mexico, LMU, and Missouri.
Freeman, the most improved and talked about prospect on the summer circuit has been a beast. The 6’5 wing leaps out of the gym and is deadly from downtown.
He already has offers from UTEP, Northern Arizona and Utah State among others.
Rumors of the Cavs demise because of transfers of their starting backcourt Ellis Salahuddin and Ajon Efferson are greatly exaggerated.
“I think we are going to be just fine,” said Hurt who has been the head coach for the past 24 seasons. My philosophy is simple you coach the players that you have to become the best student/athletes possible and I believe that we’ve done a good job of that.”
Hurt entered Serra as a Freshman in the fall of l977 and graduated with the Championship Class of 1981 before he went onto Gonzaga University on a Basketball Scholarship.
He was instrumental in the career of teammate John Stockton, who went on to NBA Hall of Fame.
After being graduated from Gonzaga, he returned to Serra in 1986 as an assistant Basketball Coach and teacher.
Today he is also a Dean and the standard by which greatness is measured.
When the official basketball season begins in November he will be just eight wins shy of his landmark 500 victories.
Hurt has led the Cavs to 7 CIF-SS division titles, 2 Southern California Regional crowns, and 2 state titles and has placed more than 50 players at Division I colleges, three have gone on to play in the NBA.
“I am a coach who coaches to the talent that I have and our defense dictates our offense,” said Hurt.
He has coached twice in the Collision All Star Games and in 2012 was the recipient of the Jim Harrick Lifetime Achievement Award.
His record 492-174 has earned him the respect of his peers and college coaches throughout the country.
He was named to coach at the Nike Global Summit in Washington D.C. this week where he will coach the United States West squad that will feature Mater Dei’s Stanley Johnson and St. John Bosco’s Daniel Hamilton.
“It’s always a privilege to coach outstanding athletes and especially against players from all over the world,” he told the Sentinel.