Malek Abdul-Mansour, who coached the Crossroads girls’ basketball team the last two years, won’t return next season.
“We came to a parting of the ways and my contract wasn’t renewed,” he said.
Abdul-Mansour arrived the year after Crossroads won the only CIF championship in school history yet lost its coaching staff over a dispute over compensation.
He coached the team to consecutive 14-9 records. This season’s team finished third in its league and made the CIF playoffs.
But there were a series of problems, including injuries and friction between the coach and some parents.
“Some parents didn’t like me from the beginning, said Abdul-Mansour.
The most serious injury was the recurrence of Meghan Baer’s knee injury which occurred away from basketball during the Christmas break. Baer, a former CIF Player of the Year, didn’t play the rest of the season.
Abdul-Mansour dealt with player absences from practice due to school-mandated events and the team had just one winning stretch when everyone did practice.
“Whoever takes this job will have to deal with the reality that academics come first at Crossroads,” he said.
“I feel good about the job I did. I enjoy teaching the game and I always came prepared.”
Abdul-Mansour may coach again but initially will pursue a book involving the Lakers. He was a photographer and close friend of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when the NBA’s all-time leading scorer played for the Lakers.