More than 50 people gathered in a Dos Pueblos High classroom Thursday to celebrate as senior forward Sean Park signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Westmont in the fall.
“Westmont had the right combination of basketball and academics,” said Park, who helped lead the Chargers to an undefeated Channel League season this year.
“I have been working out with players from the team for quite awhile now and everyone has been really great to me … All the players were so kind to me and that was a major part of my decision.”
Dos Pueblos head coach Joe Zamora spoke of Park’s leadership on the team, noting that the Chargers amassed a record of 54-24 over the last three years.
“In addition to the scoring and rebounding, Sean led our team in taking charges,” Zamora said.
The 6-foot-3-inch Park averaged 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds during his senior season in which Dos Pueblos posted a 21-8 record and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division I-A quarterfinals. He and teammate Ryan Beall were Channel League co-MVPs.
“Sean is a very intense player,” Westmont head coach John Moore. “Of any of the kids I saw this year, he played hardest and I think he practices that same way. We are recruiting guys who will come in and increase our level of intensity in practice and compete for playing time.
“Something that speaks highly of Sean is that in his junior year, Dos Pueblos was loaded with great players and everyone was talking about how they were the class of the Channel League. But they didn’t live up to expectations,” Moore explained.
“This year, folks were talking about all the other schools, especially San Marcos. That was because the only guys left at Dos Pueblos from the previous year were Sean Park and Ryan Bell. But this year, Sean helped his team exceed expectations, leading Dos Pueblos to an undefeated Channel League championship and winning a lot of close games in the process. I saw him score 12-straight points at the end of a game to win at San Marcos.
“Sean is a left-handed three-man,” said Moore. “He’s a great driver and led the county in rebounding. I think any time a guy can play on a high level and have double-digit rebounds, that is not by accident. That means he hustles after the ball. We like guys who can give us another possession or take away another team’s possession. That’s what Sean does with his rebounding.”
Over the past few years, Westmont has increasingly drawn on local talent.
“I think we want to keep having local guys,” Moore said. “We have Andrew Schmalbach (St. Joseph), Dan Rasp (Camarillo), Ryan Aijian (Bishop Diego) and now Sean Park. We love to have guys from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.”
Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.