April 19, 2024

Lloyd Webster stands near the King/Drew bench with arms folded while watching his players on the court pass and pass and pass. In an era when throwing up three-pointers is part of basketball, along with pick-and-roll screens, he makes his players actually execute plays with discipline and the understanding it can lead to open shots.

It worked this season for King/Drew, which won its first City Section Open Division championship even though the team started two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior. They developed from beginning to end, dealing with moments of adversity while never forgetting what it would take to win a title — teamwork and commitment.

The players listened to their coach and were rewarded. Webster has been selected The Times’ coach of the year for getting his team to improve and win the biggest games in a season of uncertainty in the City Section.

In his seventh season, he won with no transfer students. He built his program from within, even calling upon his son, Josahn, a sophomore, to set the example of what he wanted from players, doing a balancing act in the role of coach and father.

There was no panic when the team wasn’t playing well in November with losses by 24 points to Crespi and 38 points to Harvard-Westlake. It was about getting better every week, and that’s what King/Drew did, culminating in a win over LACES for the City title.

“Those are my guys,” he said of players who grew up with his son.

King/Drew also advanced to the semifinals of the Southern California Division II playoffs while going on the road to knock off Southern Section champions Marina and La Habra. It bodes well for the future.

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