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Column: Trent MacLean's growth and improvement sizing up to exploits of father Don

Don MacLean, UCLA's all-time scoring leader, stands next to his son, 6-9 sophomore Trent MacLean of Thousand Oaks.

Don MacLean, who’s 6-10 and UCLA’s all-time scoring leader, stands next to his son, 6-9 sophomore Trent MacLean of Thousand Oaks High. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

They stood side by side in front of a trophy case, father and son, separated by an inch in height.

Don MacLean, UCLA’s all-time basketball scoring leader, is 6 feet 10. His 16-year-old son, Trent, who seemingly grows every time he sleeps, is closing in. Trent has sprouted from 6-5 last season as a freshman to 6-9 as a sophomore.

“Oh man, I did not think I’d get this tall,” Trent said. “I thought I was going to be done at 6-5.”

Having transferred from Westlake to Thousand Oaks High, MacLean had to sit out more than a month of games this season because of CIF eligibility rules before he made his debut last week for the Lancers at the South Pasadena tournament, and what an impact he made. He put together games of 32, 19, 32 and 14 points.

“He’s worked real hard to stay in shape,” Thousand Oaks coach Logan Baltau said.

There are signs MacLean has taken a major leap forward from his freshman days. He no longer stands at the wing firing away three-point attempts while shying away from posting inside.

He can still shoot threes but has added versatility to his game, calls for the ball inside and finds ways to score all over the court. Add the fact he’s a good free-throw shooter and the evidence is clear he’s going to be scoring lots of points for the Lancers through 2025.

“I think he’s better than me at this stage,” his father said.

That’s saying a lot. Don became an All-American at Simi Valley High, with the focus on his ability to make shots. He once averaged 31.5 points for a season.

“A chip off the old block,” former Simi Valley coach Bob Hawking tweeted after seeing video highlights of Trent.

Trent is in the development stage of getting stronger so he can battle for rebounds and working on his ball handling. In a game against West Torrance, he lost the ball five times on turnovers and took responsibility.

“I got to get my eyes up, I have to work on my handle more and kind of slow down as I get the ball and not go one speed trying to get a bucket,” he said.

Even though he couldn’t play any games until Dec. 27, he used the required time off because of transfer rules to improve by working with private coaches on his shooting and strength.

“It was kind of a blessing in disguise because I got to work on my game and developed as a player from last year,” he said. “I still got to practice with my team, and that was good.”

It’s shocking to see Trent stand next to his mother, Brooke, who stands 5-1 but delivered three boys who grew to 6-2, 6-7 and now 6-9.

“I kind of got lucky with the genes,” Trent said.

The growing might not be done.

“The doctor said, ‘I’ve never seen a kid grow four inches in a year and be done,'” Don said.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.



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