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Baskerville leaves Providence boys' basketball for La Salle

Boys' basketball: Coach helped Pioneers win league title, get to CIF championship game during two-year tenure.

September 18, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

Just two seasons ago, the Providence High boys' basketball program had an energetic new coach in Ernest Baskerville and a freshman sensation in player Marcus LoVett Jr.

The two helped the Pioneers make history during the 2011-12 campaign. Providence won its first league championship in more than a decade, advanced to the program's first-ever CIF Southern Section championship game — only the second appearance in any sport in school history — and qualified for the state playoffs for the first time.

All that helped to put Providence on the boys' basketball map.

But LoVett left the team during his sophomore season last year and eventually transferred out of Providence. Now the Pioneers have lost the other piece of their championship puzzle, as Baskerville confirmed that it became official Wednesday morning that he accepted the position as boys' basketball coach at La Salle in Pasadena.

"When you look at it, Ernest got us to a CIF final and his teams made the playoffs the two years he was here with us," Providence Athletic Director Andrew Bencze said. "He definitely brought some success here and he kind of put us out there in a different way than we've been in the past as a program.

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"That's the reason why we hired him, to give the program a shot in the arm, and that's exactly what he did."

Baskerville, a Pasadena resident, who had a 36-23 record in his two years at Providence, said one of the main reasons he accepted the position at La Salle was to be closer to home.

"This is a good opportunity for me and living in the Pasadena area, it's also good for my family," Baskerville said. "I'm going to be able to spend more time at home and more time with the family. That's something that is very important to me."

He also stressed that although he looks forward to the opportunity that lies in front of him at La Salle, he also had mixed feelings about leaving Providence.

"I'm really going to miss Providence," Baskerville said. "I really believe in the values and the foundation and what it does for the students, and not just the athletes. They value education and I enjoyed my time there.

"But you know Providence and La Salle are so similar. Both are Catholic schools, both are college preparatory schools, both have a great academic foundation and both have parents who care about academics. And you throw in athletics and both really care about their sports."

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