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Boys' basketball: Oak Park's J.D. Slajchert is no slacker

December 25, 2012 |  6:49 am

You have to admire the courage of 6-foot-5 senior center J.D. Slajchert of Oak Park just for playing sports. With his last name, he has put himself in a precarious position.

"That's a good player's basketball name," he said.

Yeah, right. 

It's pronounced Slack-ert, and if he does anything not at full speed, he's going to be called a slacker.

Even more incredible, he has Air Force among his potential college destinations.

What kind of teenager would want to be at a military school with a last name of Slajchert?

A confident, determined one, and that's Slajchert. With red hair, a loud voice and a firm handshake, he always makes a favorable impression. And he can play basketball too. He's averaging 19 points and 7.8 rebounds in 11 games. He has been a key figure in the rise of Oak Park, which is 10-1 entering this week's Ventura tournament.

He was all-tournament in the San Fernando Valley Invitational, and he has made steady improvement since entering Oak Park as a 5-8 freshman. Those days playing the guard position have helped him now that he's at center for the Eagles.

Don't ever expect him to be a slacker on the court.

-- Eric Sondheimer