Cabrillo boys’ athletic director Rick Lamprecht was hustling from place to place on Thursday morning, trying to help set up the school’s lunchtime rally to introduce the new Jaguars boys and girls basketball coaches. Clutched in his right hand was a book with a telling title: The Growth Mindset.
It’s a mindset that everyone has on the Westside these days. Cabrillo just won the Moore League badminton title, the third-ever league title for the school and first in badminton. The Cabrillo baseball team just topped Jordan to move into fifth place in league. And, with the hire of two new basketball coaches, the school is hoping to compete on the hardwood.
At the rally, the school administration announced the hiring of alum Kyles Hawkins to coach the boys’ team and Debbie Lambert to coach the girls’ team.
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Hawkins played for Cabrillo shortly after the school opened, graduating in 2006 and helping to lead the Jaguars to their only win ever over Long Beach Poly in boys’ basketball.
“This means everything to me, this is a dream come true,” said Hawkins. “I’m hoping to bring some life back to the program.”
The Jaguars went 3-18 last year under Dwayne Williams, but Hawkins is confident they can compete in the Moore League soon.
“It will take patience,” he said. “The kids need to care, they need to want to be here. If they do, we can bring it back.”
Lambert showed the same level of enthusiasm, and said she’s excited to use sports as a way to help youth in the Westside community.
“There’s so much potential to grow through sports,” she said. “We’re going to call it women’s basketball here, because these are women, these are student-athletes.”
Lambert walked on at the University of Washington and has high school coaching experience at Wilson, where she coached the freshman boys’ team, and at Compton High, where she was a varsity assistant.
It was obvious that both coaches are as serious about “The Growth Mindset” as Lamprecht—within minutes of stepping off stage, both were talking to students just off the stage about joining their teams.