Garon Oseff knows his size alone
won't write his ticket.
STEVE STEIN STAFF WRITER
aron Oseff stands out among the
crowd at Walled Lake Western High
School. At 6-foot-8 and 255 pounds,
the 16-year-old sophomore would
find it difficult to hide.
But Oseff doesn't even try to take
cover. Already a varsity football and
basketball player and track athlete
N- . at Western, Oseff dreams of one day
playing football or basketball at a
Making it to the next level is go-
ing to take a lot of work. With the
NCAA forcing colleges to provide fewer athletic
scholarships, recruiters aren't going to be crawl-
ing all over Oseff just because of his size. The
skills have to be there, too.
"I'm glad that Garon is involved in three
sports here because that's a real key to his de-
velopment as an athlete," said Western bas-
ketball coach Pat Adams. "This is the best way
for him to develop foot speed, quickness and
strength, which he needs.
"Sometimes, when a kid Garon's size spe-
cializes in one sport, he has a tendency to do
a lot of sitting around during the off-season and
that impedes his progress."
Oseff has no intentions of taking it easy, and
he's well aware of the challenges in front of him.
"I'm only a sophomore. I have so much to
learn," the personable teen-ager said. "That's
why I'm playing AAU basketball and going to
basketball and football camps during the sum-
In December, just before the winter break,
Oseff went through a major learning experi-
ence during a basketball game at West Bloom-
Going head-to-head against Shamar Her-
ron, West Bloomfield's 6-10 sophomore, Oseff
scored just two points and he seemed frustrated
most of the night. Oseff was shut out in the sec-
ond half and Western lost 41-38.
"I learned from that game that when I face
a guy who is my size or bigger, I have to use
different techniques to get open for my shots
and I have to take my game to another level,"
"I also tried to do too much. I know a lot of
the West Bloomfield players and their coach
and I wanted to win that game so badly. My
defense was OK, but my offense wasn't good at
no Above: Garon Oseff listens
doubt that Garon ... and learns.
will be a fine high
school basketball Right: Garon Oseff fights for
player," Adams position.
said. "Whether he
becomes a college
player will depend on his willingness to
work hard and sacrifice."
Through Western's first seven basket-
ball games this season (the Warriors were
3-4), Oseff was averaging 10.6 points and
nine rebounds. He scored 16 points in a 54-
38 loss to perennial power Plymouth Salem
on Jan. 6 and he had 13 points and eight
rebounds in a 67-53 win over North Farm-
ington on Jan. 13.
This is Oseffs second year on the varsi-
ty basketball team. He began his freshman
year on the junior varsity squad but he was
"I have so much to learn."
moved up by Adams after just two games
and he ended up starting the last 14 var-
sity contests, averaging 9.2 points and 6.1
"We simplified things for Garon last season,"
Adams said. "This year, he's working on more
concepts, moves and reads. He's catching on
quickly, though sometimes his mind moves
faster than his feet."
The Western varsity basketball team went
0-21 last winter, and Oseff found that hard to
deal with because he'd never experienced los-
ing in his basketball career.
"When I was in eighth grade at Walled Lake
Oseff says his strengths on the basketball Middle School, our team went 19-1. My AAU
court are his low-post play and passing. He feels teams have always won, too," Oseff said. "I
he needs the most work on his jump shot and think we have a shot at finishing .500 this sea-
PHOTOS BY BILL GEMMELL
— Garon Oseff
son. We're going to sneak up on a lot of teams.
"I feel more comfortable this year, more a
part of the team. I'm trying to be a leader for
A 3.6 grade-point-average student, Oseff de-
scribes himself as "outgoing. I love to talk and
be friendly. My friends tell me I never shut up.
I think it's a good idea to be nice to people be-
cause you never know if you'll need them some-
where down the road."
Oseff is a member of Rose AZA and his fam-
ily belongs to Temple Shir Shalom in West