The LookOut sports
Santa Monica Sports Notes

The Santa Monica High boys tennis team was eliminated from the CIF playoffs in the second round by Capistrano Valley, 12-6. Brent and Eric Besson won two matches in No. 1 doubles.
Samohi, which defeated Long Beach Poly in the first round, 15-3, finished the season with an 11-4 record. The team finished third in the Bay League...

Santa Monica College will honor its top student athletes at an awards breakfast Friday at 7:30 a.m. on the school's Madison campus at 11th St. and Arizona Ave. Sixteen athletes, representing one from every sport, and their coaches will be honored...

The Crossroads girls won their CIF playoff softball opener, 2-0, over Flintridge Prep. The wild card victory moved the team into the main bracket of the playoffs...

The White Sox (10-4) lead the East and the Cubs (11-2) lead the West in Santa Monica Little League Major League standings...

Santa Monica High concluded its baseball season with an 8-6 non-league loss to University High. Samohi (11-17) didn't qualify for the CIF playoffs...

Samohi's Atako Takes Skills To UC Santa Barbara

By Mitch Chortkoff

It was a pleasure to watch Jacoby Atako direct the Santa Monica High offense from his point guard position the last few years. In order to watch the young man play basketball next season, however, a drive up the Coast will be required.

Atako has signed a letter of intent with UC Santa Barbara. If he keeps improving he'll become a nationally prominent player.

``I felt more responsibility to do whatever it takes to help the team win,'' said the 6-foot Atako. ``I had to step it up a little over what I did my junior year.''

Coach James Hecht asked Atako to become more selfish.

``I was asked to become more aggressive and a little more selfish and take a leadership role,'' said Atako. ``I took that responsibility seriously.''

Atako averaged 17 points, 5 assists and 2 steals. He shot 84 percent from the free throw line and had the one-on-one skills to take end-of-period shots with a good chance of making them.

Atako had other scholarhip offers but believes UCSB was the right choice.

``Santa Barbara was a pretty easy selection,'' he said. ``I loved the coaching staff. The players that I met were outstanding. I know UCSB has some other recruits coming in who are good players.

``I'll be going to school at the beach, like I did at Samohi, so there won't be a big change in lifestyle.''

Samohi plays in the Bay League in basketball. The competition is rough but the team was a contender for the league title. It came up a bit short but still made the CIF playoffs.

A highlight was a homecourt victory over Redondo, a powehouse team that featured 6-foot-10 Andew Zahn, who signed with Arizona. Atako hit the game-winning basket that night.

Hecht appreciates the contributions made by Atako.

``In my eyes he's an extension of the coaching staff on the court,'' said the coach. ``In a lot of ways he set the tone for what we wanted to do.''

``Jacoby has worked hard for everything he's achieved. He plays both ends of the floor very well.''

Hecht thinks Atako will do well in college.

``Because he works so hard he will continue to improve,'' said Hecht. ``His best basketball is ahead of him. His work ethic is super.''

Hecht paused a moment and added another thought.

``He's a tremendous student,'' said the coach. ``He's the kind of person you think about when you use the term `student-athlete.'''

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