NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

This week’s SoCal boys honoree, Mike McNair of Linfield Christian (Temecula), dunks during game from earlier this season. At right is NorCal girls honoree Amanda Muse of Heritage (Brentwood). Photos: @LCHS_Athletics / & Chace Bryson / SportStars.

Our stops this week are in Hanford and Brentwood in Northern California, and Temecula and Ventura in Southern California. The two boys’ honorees also have rhyming last names, but by pointing that out we hope they don’t care. For the girls, we have a UCLA-bound senior and a freshman who obviously hopes to get similar recruiting attention.

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Notes: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Boys Basketball Player of the Week

Michael McNair (Linfield Christian, Temecula) Sr.

The far southeastern reaches of the Inland Empire is our destination and we land in Temecula a little over a mile east of the I-15 and around a mile north of Highway 79 at Linfield Christian to find our Southern California Boys Basketball award winner.

Last week in the Battle at the Oak Tournament at crosstown Great Oak it was more like the McNair affair.

In the first game, an 80-61 victory over Bishop Amat of La Puente, the 6-foot-5 guard went for a double-double 25 points and 12 rebounds with four assists and five steals. The next day, in a 87-77 victory against Riverside Arlington, stats were not posted, but in the semifinals and in a 75-69 victory over host Great Oak, McNair snared a huge double-double after finishing with 36 points and 15 rebounds with four assists and four steals. Finally, in the 75-47 championship game victory over Vista Murrieta of Murrieta, McNair got more than his fair share once again after he registered 32 points and eight rebounds with six assists to cap off a week in which he was named the MVP of the tournament.

So far this season for 17-0 Linfield Christian and heading into a Tuesday night game with Western Christian of Upland, McNair was averaging 25.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.8 steals per game.

Jaden Haire scored 30 points for Hanford West in a loss to Fresno Edison in early December at the Save Mart Center. Photo: 661 Hoops Live.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Boys Basketball Player of the Week

Jaden Haire (Hanford West, Hanford) Sr.

We head back once again to The Valley as the locals like to call the CIF Central Section and we land 10 miles east of Highway 99 around 35 miles southwest of Fresno in Hanford. At Hanford West is where we find our Northern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week and once again we remind readers that for all player of the week features in all sports, girls and boys, the Central section is considered Northern California.

The Huskies may only be 8-8 this season but that’s not because Haire hasn’t been doing his job as a virtual double-double machine, and last week was a prime example.

Just like they have been .500 this season overall Hanford West went 2-2 at the 40th Annual Clovis Elks Classic last week at Clovis High, but Haire did his thing in very game. He wasn’t needed a lot in a 76-30 opening round win over East Bakersfield but he still had a respectable 12 points and eight rebounds. The Huskies lost 59-51 in the second round but in that game Jaden had a double-double 15 points and 11 rebounds. They lost again in the third round, 72-67, to Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove, but not because Haire didn’t produce after he had another double-double when he finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds. In the tourney’s final game the 6-foot-6 Haire took to the air once again and had 31 points and 11 rebounds and Hanford West needed every bit of it to pull out a 63-62 victory over Buchanan of Clovis.

So far this season Jaden is averaging 20.9 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. He has 12 double-doubles in 16 games and his high-water mark for points is 32 in a loss to Tulare Western of Tulare and for rebounds it’s 21 in a season-opening win against Lemoore.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Girls Basketball Player of the Week

Amanda Muse (Heritage, Brentwood) Sr.

East Contra Costa County is our destination in search of the Northern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week and we land in Brentwood at Heritage High to find our honoree.

The 6-foot-4 UCLA-committed Muse didn’t do any deliberating last week and showed why she is considered one of the top big girls in the state after leading the Patriots to the Emerald Division championship of the West Coast Jamboree on her home court.

Right out of the box she had a near quadruple-double when she registered a triple-double 16 points, 12 rebounds, 10 steals and eight blocks in a 54-40 victory over Fresno Roosevelt.

In the second round she dominated the paint once again and the Patriots needed everything she had in a 44-42 victory over Pleasant Valley of Chico. Amanda finished with a double-double 24 points and 13 rebounds with four blocks.

In the championship game, and in a low-scoring affair, Muse had a double-double 10 points and 13 rebounds with four blocks in a 40-28 victory over St. Ignatius of San Francisco.

We caught up with the Pleasant Valley coaches at the Doubletree Hotel in Pleasanton where the team was staying and one of the assistants told us “we had our chances to win but we just couldn’t stop the big girl.”

Not many have as Muse is averaging 14.2 points and 12.4 rebounds with 3.7 blocks and 2.1 steals for 10-3 Heritage heading into a Thursday matchup at home with American of Fremont.

It hasn’t taken long for freshman Karisma Lewis to have 30-point games for Buena in the early going of her first varsity season. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Girls Basketball Player of the Week

Karisma Lewis (Buena, Ventura) Fr.

Ventura County and the far northwestern portion of the CIF Southern Section is where we land in search of our Southern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week.

It’s not often that we choose a freshman as a player of the week honoree but it’s not because we don’t want to, it’s because not a lot of first-year players put up the kind of numbers Lewis has put up. As a result the combo-guard now adds a statewide honor to being named the Ventura County Star Player of the Week.

Last week, and playing in the four-game Santa Clara Winter Classic in Oxnard, Lewis made a name for herself in leading Buena to the third-place finish. Karisma opened with 38 points in a 57-17 victory over Los Angeles Franklin. She followed that up with 21 points in a 54-46 loss to Calabasas. The next day Lewis went for 38 points a second time in a 69-32 victory over Simi Valley Royal. On Friday, and in a 60-50 victory over Chatsworth, Karisma charmed the nets for 25 points.

So far this season for the 7-6 Bulldogs and heading into a Thursday night match-up with Santa Barbara San Marcos, Lewis is averaging 23.7 points per game.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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