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Boys' basketball: Marmonte principals say no to transfer student

December 14, 2011 |  5:48 pm

Longtime Thousand Oaks Coach Richard Endres has rarely played the transfer game in his 16 years as basketball coach. So you would think he might have some credibility in the Marmonte League, right?

The Marmonte League principals didn't even let Endres speak when they met to decide if they would recommend allowing Brooklyn, N.Y., native Derrick "Deejay" Brown, 17, a waiver of CIF residency requirements to play for Thousand Oaks. They voted no. Endres wanted to explain why he became Brown's legal guardian, and the principals apparently didn't want to hear his story.

Well, maybe they should check out the story of Brown, a 5-foot-10 guard who was the focus of an ESPN documentary in 2009. Here's the link.He was stabbed in the face by his stepfather, as was his mother. His stepfather is in prison for attempted murder. Brown came to Southern California to attend Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley last year, but things didn't work out and he had nowhere to live. Enter Endres.

"This was a special case for me," he said. "It was my wife's idea. 'Why doesn't he live with us?' I told her, 'This is going to be a rough road and a lot of people are going to talk crap about me.' "

Endres said he tried to speak at the principals' meeting but they refused. "They don't like it he's living with me," he said.

The Southern Section is expected to reject Brown's hardship-waiver request based on the principals' recommendation. The only way he'll become eligible is if an appeals panel overturns the decision.

Someone asked Endres if he would have taken in Brown even if he didn't play basketball.

"My answer is yes," he said. "The kid needed help."

And it's a shame the system can't help him play basketball at Thousand Oaks.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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