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Q & A With El Monte Boys Basketball Coach Eric Tabatabai

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(With the basketball season looming, we caught up with Coach Tabatabai for a brief chat about El Monte basketball and the Mission Valley League.)

 THE MID: How is your team looking this year?

TABATABAI: We are looking very promising, we have a lot of returners and seniors this year that should lead us.

THE MID: it seems like things can change fast in this league…do you still see Gabrielino as the team to beat in the MVL?

TABATABAI: I see them and Arroyo as both being favorites with the Co-MVPs returning, both have a lot of quality players on their teams

THE MID: Who are the guys you are going to be leaning on this season? Jorge Caldera? Some others?

 TABATABAI: Jorge will definetly be a key to our season he has worked really hard all offseason and has really grown as a player. Alex Berumen is also going to be a very important player for us, he is one of our most consistent guys on both defense and offense and one of our few bigs. Omar Juarez will be a key to our defense and also Jacob Moran should make a good impact as he gets back into basketball shape from football season

 THE MID: What is your style of offense and defense that you prefer to run?

 TABATABAI: Offensively I like to have a lot of different sets that we can go to and run crisp plays to get good looks. A big thing I’ve been trying to stress with the kids is they need to use the skills they have been working to develop and be able to create for themselves and trust each other in making good basketball plays. On defense I like to put pressure on teams and with our team this year we should be able to do just that and create an uptempo style that should be fun

 THE MID: We know for your brother (El Monte OC Brian Tabatabai) and Coach (Joel) Sanchez besides teaching their teams how to play football they also had to change the culture of football at El Monte. Do you find you’re having to do the same since the program has struggled for so long?

 TABATABAI: Yes, thats one thing that I really think is changing, you could definetly see the change in the football program and how all the coaches have done a great job with the kids their. I believe our program is also going to make some great strides this year and should have one of its best seasons. All the players in the program have worked their tails off and we have started to see success in terms of wins inthe summer and fall leagues we played in which is nice. This is my third year now and the younger kids when I first got there are now upperclassmen and will show the change in the program on the court this year

Note: El Monte kicks off its non-league schedule on November 29th at Boys’ Republic High School in Chino Hills. League play begins January 9th at Arroyo.

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
Q & A With El Monte Boys Basketball Coach Eric Tabatabai