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Pioneers' new man

Baskerville picked to take over Providence boys' basketball program.

June 08, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Courtesy of Ernest…)

PROVIDENCE HIGH — Providence High and Athletic Director Andrew Bencze had a long and expansive list for what they hoped to find in a new boys' basketball coach.

Along with someone who had a wealth of experience and a track record of success, the administrators also wanted to fine an individual who was familiar with running a program at a small school, someone who was involved in the community and someone who is focused on helping athletes thrive in the classroom, as well as on the basketball court.

After a search that yielded a slew of applicants, Bencze said he is convinced he has found all those characteristics in Ernest Baskerville — the new Pioneers' coach.

"When we first saw his résumé, what we were really excited about is that he coached at a small school with an academic focus, and he was there for 12 years," said Bencze, who also runs the Providence girls' basketball program. "We wanted to have someone who can come in and be loyal and invest himself in the program, and that's the kind of person that we think we have in Ernest."

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Bencze said he was also impressed with the feedback that he received when taking to individuals who know, or have worked with, Baskerville.

"Everyone who I talked to about him said that he was a very high-character guy," Bencze said. "They all described him as a genuine guy who is honest and who has a lot of integrity. That's a great starting point when you're talking about someone who is your next coach."

Baskerville, who spent last season as an assistant coach for the College of the Canyons men's team, built a successful winning program at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies in West L.A. He coached the team to four league championships from 1997-2009 and had a record of 178-168.

During the 2008-09 season, LACES captured the L.A. City Small Schools Championship and Baskerville was named the coach of the year.

Baskerville, who works in the law field at the Cochran Firm, had to leave LACES after suffering a serious injury. Because his rehabilitation from the injury took up so much of his time, he decided to turn over the program to one of his assistants.

"I had to rehab for 32 weeks, and it was crazy," he said. "My thing was if I'm not able to give a program my all, I just can't do it. I loved my program and I didn't want to leave, but I thought it was best to let my assistant take over and let him run the program."

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