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Hard work pays off at Canyon

Posted: April 30, 2008 1:51 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2008 5:02 a.m.
A couple of years ago, a trio of kids with ties to Canyon basketball all worked together so that one day they could play their sport at the next level.

There was Jeremy Haggerty - the Canyon High graduate who served as the trainer.

Then there were the students, then-current Canyon players Ryan Kuhn and Mark Lewis.

Haggerty remembers the three giving up their summers of fun for summers of work - getting to the gym at 6 a.m. every morning.

Over the last year, the dominos fell one by one.

Haggerty secured a scholarship to The Master's College.

Then Kuhn received one from Luther College in Iowa.

The lone player still left at Canyon then got his.

Lewis was recently given a partial scholarship to play basketball at Dominican University in San Francisco - an NAIA Division II program that went 18-12 this past season.

"We were all so close. Hanging out together, we were extremely competitive. We're all kind of brothers. We helped each other out. I'm glad Jeremy's playing and glad Ryan's playing. It's kind of my turn now."

Lewis was the top point guard in the area in 2007-08.

His fourth season on the varsity was his finest. The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 16.3 points per game to go along with 6.3 assists and 2.7 steals. He was an All-Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley first teamer.

Lewis said he received an information letter from Dominican when he was a junior.

He then sent some basketball tape to the coaching staff. He was told the program was in no need for point guards.

Things changed when the Dominican coaching staff received tape after Lewis' senior season.

He was then given a partial scholarship.

"It's kind of ironic because you think there was a time I didn't know if I would play again. My main focus was I wanted those guys to go somewhere," Haggerty said of the trio.

Haggerty joined The Master's College after a three-year hiatus from the game.

The 2002 Canyon graduate and TMC junior averaged 12.6 points per game in 16 contests. He started seven games.

Kuhn, a 2007 Canyon graduate, was recently named Luther College basketball Newcomer of the Year. He averaged 4.3 points per game for the NCAA Division III school.

"I'm so proud of Mark and Ryan and Jeremy for putting in the hard work and stressing the extra work you put outside the gym," said Canyon head coach Chad Phillips. "Those three guys epitomize the right dedication and desire to be good basketball players."


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