Boys’ basketball: Ford a driving force

first_imgLike a hungry customer at a fancy buffet, Robert Ford sees tasty delights everywhere he looks. As the point guard for high school basketball power Campbell Hall of North Hollywood, Ford is flanked by high-scoring forwards Justin and Jrue Holiday. Straight ahead is versatile big man Keegan Hornbuckle, and out of the corner of Ford’s eye is designated shooter Dallas Rutherford. “It’s pretty fun, knowing I can count on so many of my teammates,” Ford said. “We went 32-0 two years ago, but I think this is actually a more athletic team. I like the way we can get up and down the floor.” And then there’s Ford’s speed. There isn’t a quicker point guard in the San Fernando Valley, and few defenders can keep up as Ford streaks down court. “He’s one of the fastest players I’ve ever seen with the basketball,” Kelly said. “When he puts the burners on, he just goes, and that puts a lot of pressure on the defense.” Justin Holiday believes Ford could score a lot more points if it was necessary. Instead, Ford makes his teammates better, and that’s the ultimate tribute for a point guard. “The truth is, Robert can score at will, but he gets everyone else involved,” Holiday said. “He does make the rest of us better, and he always gets me the ball in the right position. He just does whatever needs to be done to help the team.” The one thing no one in Campbell Hall circles can figure out is why Ford isn’t heavily recruited. Offers might come in if the Vikings make another run at a state championship, but for now Ford still is wondering about his college plans. If nothing pans out, he probably will follow Holiday to the University of Washington and try to make the team as a walk-on. “That would be fine with me,” Holiday said. “I’d really like to see that happen because I really think he could help the team.” Ford’s older brother Joe, who’s five inches taller, is a sophomore at University of Pacific. The elder Ford was the Daily News Player of the Year in 2005, when Campbell Hall went undefeated and won a state title. “They’re often compared, but they’re really two different kinds of players,” Kelly said. “Joe was tall and lanky, but Rob’s got a great outside shot. He’s lights out from the outside, which is something his brother didn’t have.” Robert appreciates his brother because without him, the younger Ford never could have developed. The two constantly worked out together while growing up, and it’s obvious Robert benefited.. “Joe made me a better player and gave me confidence because he always believed in me,” Robert said. “That confidence just made me a better all-around basketball player.” Robert said the family home has been a lot quieter since Joe went to college. There are no plans for the two to reunite at Pacific. That brings things back to why the younger brother is getting snubbed by recruiters. “I really don’t know why. I guess people think my game isn’t that good or whatever,” he said. “I’m just going to keep working hard, and maybe something will open up for me.” So Robert Ford will continue going about the business of helping others, and that’s OK with him, though in the back of his mind he wonders what things would be like if he spent an evening creating his own shots instead of simply running the offense. “I like to win, so if I get zero points but still get the victory, I’m happy with that,” Ford said. “But, yes, sometimes I do wish I could get 81 points like Kobe.” [email protected] (661) 257-5218 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Campbell Hall (26-1) is on a tear heading into tonight’s 7:30 Div. III-AA quarterfinal against visiting Savanna of Anaheim (20-7). Ford is the sparkplug for a team that has won 18 in a row, including a current streak of four victories by 53 points or more. The 6-foot-1 senior averages 10.2 points. 3.7 assists and two steals, but it’s the intangibles that don’t show up in a box score that most impress coach Terry Kelly. “Robert Ford really is the unsung hero of this team,” Kelly said. “He does all the things that make a good point guard. He gets others involved, he’s intense, and he has great knowledge of the game. He has really led us on the floor and he doesn’t make mistakes. “You’re comfortable when he has the ball in any situation because he doesn’t make bad decisions.” last_img read more