SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s four honorees are Jolleen Olia of Walnut (left) and Sam Braun from St. Francis of Watsonville. Photos: & Juan Reyes / The Pajaronian.

As the funnel narrows and we enter the playoffs where a team could conceivably be eliminated before one of our honorees takes the court, we’ll try to select winners where that scenario is not a factor. This week, we have a Northern California girls honoree whose Tuesday game will be complete before your eyes peruse this feature, but win or lose her team does not face elimination since playoffs in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section do not start until next week. Our other stops are in San Diego and Walnut in Southern California and Watsonville in Northern California.

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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
Girls Basketball Player of the Week

Jolleen Olia (Walnut) Sr.

For this week’s Southern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week, we revisit the eastern reaches of Los Angeles County. It’s in Walnut at Walnut High around a mile south of Mt. San Antonio College where the famous Mt. SAC relay track races are run that we find our honoree.

Last week, in a 75-35 victory over Wilson of neighboring Hacienda Heights, this senior guard erupted for a career high and school record 37 points (three three-pointers) and double-doubled after snagging 13 rebounds, plus she had four assists and four steals.

So far this season and heading into a CIF Southern Section Division 3AA first round playoff match-up on the road at Whitney of Cerritos on Thursday, Olia is averaging 18.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

Last season, Olia averaged 19.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. If Jolleen has a 20-point performance against Whitney, she can crack the 1,400 points mark for her four-year varsity career.

JJ Bartelloni of Torrey Pines also helped head coach John Olive recently earn his 600th career victory. Photo:

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

J.J. Bartelloni (Torrey Pines, San Diego) Sr.

To find our Southern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week, we head to the northern reaches of the city of San Diego on Del Mar Heights Road around five miles northeast of the world famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, and land at Torrey Pines High to honor the winner.

It’s no baloney when Bartelloni takes the court for the Falcons this season and last week was a perfect example. The final two games last week showed how J.J. could lead the way.

In a 63-48 Palomar League win at home over Oceanside El Camino last Friday, the 6-foot-5 senior forward had 31 points, including 5-of-7 on three-pointers. Bartelloni followed that up by going up the stepladder with 32 points on 7-of-14 from outside the arc in a 62-54 non-league win against San Diego on a neutral court at San Diego Mission Bay.

So far this season for 18-8 Torrey Pines and heading into the two remaining Palomar games this season with visiting Carlsbad and host La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad, Bartelloni is averaging 19.0 points per game.

J.J. is also unsigned and for all the college coaches and scouts out there he also has a 4.0 GPA to go with his basketball prowess.

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

Sam Braun (St. Francis, Watsonville) Jr.

The journey in search of the Northern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week takes us to southeastern Santa Cruz County and just north of the Watsonville city limits not far off Highway 152. It’s at St. Francis where we locate our award winner.

Last week, in a Pacific Coast Athletic League – Cypress Division 76-70 victory over Rancho San Juan of Salinas, Braun, a 6-foot-3 junior transfer and shooting guard, lit up the host Trailblazers for 33 points, including six three-pointers. Earlier in the week, Sam was the man once again after finishing with 26 points (four three-pointers) in an 85-41 victory against Greenfield. Following the Rancho San Juan win, Braun was second in scoring with 12 points in a 57-53 victory over crosstown rival Watsonville that dealt that team its first league loss.

On Monday of this week, Braun had 14 points in a 67-47 victory at King City that got the Sharks to 15-6 overall and 10-1 in league.

So far this season since becoming eligible and heading into a Wednesday match-up with North Salinas, Braun is averaging 23.1 points per game.

Jameelah Pharms is not the first girl from her family to score 1,000 career points at Stagg of Stockton. Older sister Jasmine hit the mark in 2016. Photo:

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

Jameelah Pharms (Stagg, Stockton) Jr.

The heart of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and a city that is the home base of Cal-Hi Sports is our destination, and we land at a school named after legendary college football coaching icon Amos Alonzo Stagg, who finished his 314 career wins college coaching career at College of the Pacific in Stockton.

It’s at Stagg High that we find our Northern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week award winner.

Last week was a big one for junior guard Pharms. It started with 20 points, eight steals and four assists in limited minutes of a 64-11 rout of crosstown Bear Creek. Then, in a 62-47 overtime victory over crosstown McNair that got the Delta Kings to 19-7 and 11-1 in the San Joaquin Athletic Association, Pharms helped the visiting Eagles buy the farm after finishing with 30 points, seven rebounds, six steals, four assists and two blocks.

So far this season, and heading into a Tuesday game at Linden, Pharms is averaging 19.6 points, 6.9 steals, 4.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Pharms, who last month went over the 1,000 point mark in her three-year varsity career, is the little sister of Jasmine Pharms, a Stat Star feature regular and 2016 graduate of Stagg. Jasmine also scored 1,000 or more points in her career.

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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