By Bryan Gaskins
Tribune sports editor
LaBradford Sebree is accustomed to winning.
Sebree was a three-year starter for Kokomo’s boys basketball team. He helped the Wildkats compile a 65-11 record (the seventh-best mark in Indiana over that stretch) with a Class 4A state runner-up finish in 2011.
The 6-foot-2 swingman hopes to keep on winning at the next level. He will play at Cochise College, a Division I junior college in Douglas, Ariz. Douglas is located in the southeast corner of the state.
Sebree visited Cochise over the weekend and came away impressed with the campus and the Runnin’ Apaches’ basketball program.
“They’re a winning program,” he said. “They were 25-6 this past year and they considered it a bad season because they didn’t win their conference or [NJCAA] region. I think it will be a good transition for me, going from a winning high school to a winning college.”
Veteran Cochise coach Jerry Carrillo is excited to add Sebree to his recruiting class.
“We’re excited to get a guy who had such a good three-year career in a quality Indiana high school basketball such as Kokomo,” Carrillo said. “A former assistant of mine, Mark Rinehart, who is the head coach at Harrison High School in West Lafayette, is the one who gave us a game tape and started the ball rolling. With his pedigree and his toughness, we think he’s our kind of guy.”
For the Kats, Sebree worked both inside and outside on both ends of the floor, bringing a workmanlike attitude to the floor. As a senior, he averaged 15.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 assists per game. He shot 55.2 percent from the field overall, 29.2 percent from 3-land.
Carrillo likes Sebree’s versatility.
“I’ve been doing this for awhile and I think people are kind of getting caught up in positions too much as opposed to just being a basketball player. That’s why we recruited him,” he said. “I think he can defend multiple positions, he gives you the ability to switch off ball screens. We’re an up-tempo organization — we’ve finished eighth in NJCAA in scoring this year at just under 90 a game. We really try to pressure on the full court defensively so we feel he can do that and just give us some toughness.
“I really think he has the potential to be a good open-floor player and someone who is multi-dimensional.”
Cochise plays in the highly competitive Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. The conference’s 2012-13 player of the year, DeAndre Mathieu of Central Arizona College, is Big Ten bound as a Minnesota recruit.
Sebree’s father, Brad, played at a junior college before matriculating to Eastern Washington, where he was an All-Big Sky player in 1993. LaBradford Sebree hopes to follow a similar path and he thinks Carrillo will help him accomplish his goals.
“He has so many connections [with four-year programs] and he gets you ready,” he said.
Sebree scored 892 points in his Wildkat career. He provided one of the lasting memories of the Kats’ run to the 2011 state finals with his buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer against Pendleton Heights in the Marion Regional final. Sebree’s shot gave the Kats a 58-55 win in double OT.
He was a three-time All-North Central Conference selection and a two-time Kokomo Tribune All-Area pick, making the first team of both honor squads as a senior.
“LaBradford was just a phenomenal player for us all over the past three years,” Kokomo coach Brian McCauley said. “He was so dependable. Every game, whether it was a big shot or a big play, LaBradford always had the right mentality to make that play. He always had his emotions under control and was just a very steady player for us. He was a huge part of our team success and has been duly rewarded with a North-South All-Star appearance and a Top 60 [Workout] participation.
“And now he has the opportunity to play at the next level and that is great. He has the opportunity to continue his education and play in a top-level junior college program. We’re excited for him and proud of him.”