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David Edole

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A shooting star - Jan 24, 2019

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Blink and some shooting stars disappear in the infinite fog of the Milky Way.

Ramel Lloyd Jr. is a shooting star who's impossible to miss.

Lloyd, a 6-foot-6 freshman combo guard for the Calabasas High boys' basketball team, is a special player who's just beginning his ascent into superstardom.

Head coach Jon Palarz likened Lloyd to a five-tool basketball player, akin to the endangered five-tool baseball star.

'He's very versatile,' Palarz said. 'He has a unique feel for the game at this age passing the ball. He's a spectacular passer at times. He's a tall guard who can play with a Magic Johnson feel. His talent shows every time he goes to play.'

There's not much Lloyd can't do on the hardwood.

He's tall enough to watch plays develop before they happen then fling passes to open teammates. He can soar over foes for layups or pluck offensive rebounds out of oxygen-poor air. He can score inside and out; he can get to the hoop against almost any defender. Opponents cannot shoot jumpers over him when he's squared up and locked in.

The youngster, who started dunking at 13, picked up his first college scholarship offer from UNLV in seventh grade. Dayton offered him a full ride before he enrolled in his first high school class. More offers will start pouring in soon, no doubt.

Lloyd, 15, said he's relishing his first season with the Coyotes.

'I'm enjoying the high school experience,' he said. 'The new experience is good.'

The Coyote averages 16 points, five rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

He enjoys the challenge of going up against big, strong and fast athletes. His biggest opponent, however, resides in his own head.

'Mentally, every game, I have to be focused and playing hard,' Lloyd said. 'You can't take any breaks.'

Even when his shot wasn't falling in Calabasas' 90-84 overtime win against Newbury Park on Jan. 21 at home, Lloyd continued to play hard. He moved the ball effectively, crashed the glass and made his free throws.

The rookie shares the backcourt with senior point guard Max Cheylov, the reigning Marmonte League MVP. Cheylov praised the Coyote newcomer.

'He's a beast,' Cheylov said. 'He can score, rebound and pass. He can guard multiple positions. He's a good all-around player.'

Luke Murphy, a sophomore guard, also spoke highly of Lloyd.

'He can do a little bit of everything,' Murphy said. 'Playing with him really opens up the floor.'

Lloyd, who missed the first few weeks of the season with an injury, helped the Coyotes start this season 16-9 overall while surging to first place in the Marmonte with a 4-1 league mark.

Calabasas will try to make some noise in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs this winter. The squad will ask Lloyd to grow up quickly, but the Coyotes don't expect him to shoulder the burden of carrying a program alone.

'He seems so mature because he's 6-foot-6, but then you realize he's still a freshman,' Cheylov said. 'He's still a young kid.'

Improving on defense will be the next big leap in Lloyd's basketball evolution.

'If I can become a stopper,' Lloyd said, 'that will improve my game to another level.'

The Coyote learned to love the game at a young age thanks to his father, Ramel Lloyd Sr. Born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, the elder Lloyd was a high school All-American who played college basketball at Syracuse and Long Beach State and professionally overseas for 15 years.

'He's my everything when it comes to basketball and real life,' the younger Lloyd said. 'He's my best friend and my dad at the same time.'

Lloyd, whose mom is Taba, has two older sisters, Taylor and Bianca. Taylor Lloyd, a Long Beach State student, played four seasons of varsity basketball at Long Beach Poly High before graduating in 2018.

The Coyote is only a freshman, but he dreams big.

He wants to score 2,000 career points in high school. He wants to win four Marmonte League crowns. He wants Calabasas to be a fixture in the Open Division postseason bracket.

'I want to build the program up to be one of the top teams,' he said.

The Coyotes believe in the rookie.

'If he stays here, he can be one of the best players who've ever gone here,' Cheylov said.

by Eliav Appelbaum

Get to know Ramel Lloyd Jr.

Ramel Lloyd Jr., 15, is a 6-foot-6 freshman guard for the Calabasas High boys' basketball team. Lloyd, one of the best rookies in Acorn country (and the country, period), has picked up scholarship offers from UNLV and Dayton. He's helped the Coyotes surge to first place in the Marmonte League.

Athlete: LeBron James
Team: Any team LeBron James plays for
TV show: 'Dragon Ball Super'
Musician: Lil Baby
Food: Crab legs
Hobby: Working out
Dream destination: Jamaica


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