Basketball

East Los Angeles College men’s basketball coach John Mosley inspires Alhambra students – Pasadena Star News

East Los Angeles College men's basketball coach John Mosley inspires Alhambra students – Pasadena Star News

John Mosley appeared to catch the attention of a few hundred students at Emery Park Elementary School (K-8) in Alhambra on Friday, March 4. The East Los Angeles College men’s basketball coach made sure of that, though.

“It’s not about the scoreboard,” Mosley said, standing on the stage in the school auditorium. “It’s about winning in life. And earn the position you are in right now.

He challenged them.

“How many of you are earning right now where you’re sitting?” said Mosley, whose ELAC team was featured in the Netflix documentary series “Last Chance U: Basketball.”

He asked, “How many of you are sitting with good posture? How many of you are sitting with good energy and with good effort and good focus and listening and focusing and engaged in conversation and what is really going on?

And again: “How many of you are winning right now? That’s the whole story. I share this with my student-athletes all the time.

Mosley talked about winning the day, in several ways. Not just on the pitch, but also in the classroom and in life in general. He talked about winning in relationships, how if someone gets bumped in line at school, winning by being cool rather than hot about it.

“Instead of saying, ‘Shoot, stop, move. What are you doing?’ Instead of yelling at them because they bumped into your plate, maybe you win this moment and say, ‘It’s okay, I get it, it was an accident,'” Mosley said. “Guess what? You just won this person over.

East LA College men’s basketball coach John Mosley, right, with manager Jeremy Infranca as he is filmed by a Netflix crew at Emery Park Elementary School in Alhambra on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Core Values, said Mosley. That’s the whole story.

He even talked about winning from the moment you get up in the morning, starting with a good brushing of your teeth with a toothbrush, without your finger slipping on your teeth.

It got a laugh, but his point was made.

He took things a step further.

“How many of you have built a relationship with someone no one wants to talk to or be with or have a relationship with?” he said.

Hands went up.

Mosley is in his 10th season at ELAC. He took a struggling program and turned it into a perennial playoff team, having coached the Huskies to eight straight playoff appearances prior to this season.

He entered this season having led ELAC to a 189-50 record. He’s 25-4 this season to set that 214-54 record, and on Saturday his team will play West LA College for the right to qualify for the final eight of the CCCAA (California Community College Athletic) State Tournament. Association).

His team was 29-1 and ranked No. 2 in the state in 2020 en route to the Final Eight, but the tournament was canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

He guided the Huskies to the 2014-15 state championship game, but they lost 50-47 to Saddleback College.

East LA College men’s basketball coach John Mosley speaks to students at Emery Park Elementary School in Alhambra on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG )

Mosley and the ELAC program shot to instant fame when they were featured in eight episodes of the Netflix series, which debuted in March 2021.

His coaching style is intense, of course. In the first episode, he is upset that his players don’t seem to be doing what he wants during practice. His demonstrative way of getting his message across is greeted by a player’s raised eyebrows. Another player can be heard saying, “He’s about to pass out.”

“I’m going to train you hard and I’m going to be honest and I’m going to be honest,” Mosley said during an interview on the episode. “That’s what kids are looking for.”

In another instance, he lets his players know that he is more concerned with how they play, rather than being perfect on the pitch.

“If you have drive and energy, I don’t care about mistakes,” he shouts.

Mosley also noted that some thought he was crazy for taking the job at ELAC in the first place, even though he played there himself as a playmaker – twice he was named All-Star. -Conference and he also made the All-State team as an honorable mention.

He was previously an assistant coach at Cal State Bakersfield and Master’s College, where he also played for two years after playing at ELAC.

He said he got the job at ELAC after being fired at CSUB, along with the rest of the staff.

He remembers people telling him not to take the job at ELAC. Typically, junior college teams are filled with players who might have academic issues preventing them from playing at a higher level, players who bounce back from Division 1 programs – sometimes because of attitude issues – or perhaps be that they just aren’t good enough to play. Anywhere else.

“Man, East LA College, they said, ‘What are you doing, why are you taking this job? This is the worst job in the state of California,” he said in the Netflix series. “And I didn’t see it that way. I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to be there, so it won’t be.’ “

It’s that kind of determination that makes Mosley the type of person who should reach out to young people, who should coach through the junior college ranks.

“Our school is a community school and myself and our educators here want to inspire our students,” Emery Park Principal Jeremy Infranca said. “And we want to find inspiration there and bring it to them. I personally watched Last Chance U episodes and was in awe of Coach Mosley.

Mosley is also a professor of kinesiology at ELAC.

Students watch East LA College men’s basketball coach John Mosley speak at Emery Park Elementary School in Alhambra on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

“So in my conversations with him he said, ‘I can come, but I have to teach first,'” Infranca said. “And I thought, ‘Wow, this guy is in the middle of a state playoff race. Last night he won. His team won, they’re in the Sweet 16 for the state playoffs. And he takes the time to come here with Netflix cameras watching his every move. I think it’s amazing.

After he finished speaking, Mosley explained where his mentoring and motivational spirit came from.

“I was lucky, man, that my dad was kind of like that,” Mosley said.

East LA College men’s basketball coach John Mosley speaks to students at Emery Park Elementary School in Alhambra on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG )

“And then just the desire to help people. This part comes, I believe, from my faith, from my relationship with God. Those two things, my father and then my faith, that’s where I got it from. I was lucky to have good parents (her mother is Lana Mosley) who inspired me. And then I’m competitive. I like when I see people doing well.

ASB School President Michaela Aston was inspired by Coach Mosley’s dynamic 45-minute speech.

“I play rugby, football and athletics,” she said. “It really helped me realize that, yeah, I’m not always going to win first place and be the best athlete out there. But as long as I give it my all and put my heart out there, it’s going to be okay. . »

When the rest of the 2020 playoffs were canceled due to the pandemic, Mosley had some words of wisdom for his players that reflect his character, his core values.

“Everyone goes through it, so it’s not like us as a team,” he said on Episode 8 of Last Chance U: Basketball. “So how do you feel, everyone feels that way.”