D strolls into the administrative offices of Fontana High. He's wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, black jeans and, of course, Adidas sneakers. Principal Thomas Reasin jumps up from behind his desk as soon as D enters the office. "There's the man," he says, coming around to shake D's hand.
This would be a remarkable greeting for any of Reasin's students, but Demetrius doesn't even attend Fontana High--yet. Reasin has hired a new basketball coach, Mark Soderberg, a former Kentucky and Utah center who played nine years of pro ball in Europe. More important, he was an assistant coach for Team California for the last five years and will likely bring in the top players from that squad, especially this kid who just strolled into the principal's office.
When Soderberg looks at D, he shakes his head in awe. "He's so advanced physically, but he still doesn't have a man's body," Soderberg says. "Imagine when that happens."
Keller agrees. "He's beyond where LeBron was at this age, where Tyson [Chandler] was," Keller says. "He's so athletic that he can dominate without developing the fundamentals--"
"But now that we are working with him on that stuff," Soderberg finishes Keller's thought for him, "he's going to become comfortable on the perimeter; then he'll become a better slasher, better defensively."
"Hey, D," says Reasin, a UCLA fan. "Listen to this." He pushes a button on a stuffed bear that plays the Bruins' fight song. "Think about it."
D smiles. "Aw-right."