M. Basketball: Asst. Coach Tito Ortiz to coach All-Star Game

Tito Ortiz to serve as assistant coach
Tito Ortiz to serve as assistant coach

On August 3 in Chicago, Cerritos College men's basketball assistant coach Tito Ortiz will serve as the assistant coach for the West Team in the Junior Basketball Association (JBA) All-Star Game. The league, owned by Lavar Ball, has eight teams that play over a two-month period. Since April, Ortiz has been traveling the country evaluating talent at tryouts, which were limited to high school graduates ages 17-20. One of the players signed to the Los Angeles Ballers was former Falcon Keshaun Mack, who averaged 12.9 points last season and was an All-South Coast Conference South Division selection.

"It is a privilege to be selected as Lavar's assistant coach," said Ortiz, who has been on the Falcons staff for 18 years. "I feel it's an opportunity for me to grow as a coach and to bring my experience working with Lavar and the JBA to our Cerritos College 2018-19 season."

Ortiz was introduced to the Ball family and their partner owner Alan Foster through the late Criss Freeman, who was a Cerritos assistant coach. When Ball's sons Li'Angelo and LaMelo Ball were playing for Chino Hills High in a CIF Playoff game at Cerritos, Ortiz met the family and was later brought on to help bring talent to the league though tryouts.

Mack, who wasn't selected to play in the All-Star Game, will be a participant in the slam dunk contest. In four games with the LA Ballers, Mack is averaging 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

According to Ortiz, Mack will be one of the best dunkers in the contest.

"He will have some competition, but Keshaun shared with me that he has something up his sleeve that will bring the house down," said Ortiz.