Centurion Basketball Takes a Victory at Staples Center


photo by Cypress basketball

Centurions pose proudly after a victory at the Staples Center.

by Ruby Milburn, Staff Editor

In a season where victories have been few and far between, the Centurion boys basketball team had the opportunity to play at the Staples Center on December 8, 2021, where they beat La Habra 58-41 before the Clippers game.  The boys traveled to the Lakers’ and Clippers’ home court–an experience coach Derek Mitchell says they will always remember.  Senior varsity player Dylan Higa mentioned, “the best part about Staples Center was the ambience…it was crazy to see such a big stadium without anyone in it.”  Mitchell, who won OC Varsity Coach of the Year in 2019, has prepared the boys for a tough season, and a potential chance of making the playoffs.  

While the team could be doing better this year, Mitchell stated, “we’re very young as far as game experience…we’re learning how to play together as a team.”  He expresses the boys’ diligence and resilience will pay off as life lessons in the future and help improve their performance as a team.  The boys have gone 2-6 thus far, which their coach says has been, “an opportunity to face adversity and see what kind character we have.”

Mitchell has been the boys varsity coach here at Cypress for the past eight years, and his favorite part of coaching is watching the boys grow as individuals and as a team.  He loves “helping the boys accomplish things they never thought would be possible,” and teaching them the many life lessons that can be learned from the game.  His players think he’s a great coach, as Higa puts it, “he brings out the best of us…he’s really dedicated to our program.”