Monday, May 25, 2015

Dwayne Polee Sr., standing in front of the 1980/81 championship banner that he helped win, had a trick up his sleeve after leading Manual Arts to its first playoff victory since 2005, in his first year as head coach. Photo by Jason Lewis

The basketball legend led Manual Arts to their first playoff victory in years.  A winning attitude, hard work, and ION ME energy bands made a difference.

By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
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The legend of Dwayne Polee Sr. continues to grow at Manual Arts.  In his first year as head coach, he more than doubled their win total from last year, and led Manual Arts to their first playoff win since 2005.  

Polee, who led Manual Arts to the 1981 City title by scoring 43 points in the championship game, did not pay much attention to what the program had done before he took over the job.

“I don’t want to put dirt on anybody, but I heard they weren’t very good,” Polee said.  “We’re just trying to build a program that will be successful and help the kids go to college.”  

Polee is moving forward while not looking back, and he’s thinking of more than just on the court performances.  

“Not just the athletic program,” Polee said.  “We wanted them to think about graduating and think about going to college.  Just bring these kids to a standard where they can be successful.  I want them to be well rounded.”

Things did not look good for a good amount of the season for Manual Arts, but after a 10 game losing streak, Polee went to what may have been a secret weapon.  

Polee gave each of his players an ION ME wristband, which seemed to have brought some excitement to his players.  

“I first became acquainted with the product when I was working as coach at USC and after wearing it realized how much more energized it made me feel,” Polee said.  “My endurance increased and I slept better at night.”

Did the bands really make a difference with his players?

“I know we didn’t have any energy or fight in us,” Polee said.  “But afterwards we had some more fight and more pep in our step.  I put one on each of my kid’s wrist and it gave them energy.  They love to wear them because it’s stylish, but it helped their breathing.  We went to the second round, so it did something for them I know that.  So we’re going to keep wearing them.”

Manual Arts isn’t the only ones wearing the band.  NBA star Russell Westbrook, who was a standout guard at Leuzinger High School and UCLA, has been wearing the band for some time now.  Seeing the energy that he has, Manual Arts, under the leadership of Polee, will be looking pretty nice next season.  

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