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Update: Hoover High beat Hillsdale High 60-58 on Thursday night and moves on to the CIF Division IV regional semifinals game that will be played at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hoover. The opponent is Brookside Christian of Stockton.

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Calling all Hoover High School students, alumni, staffers, and all Fresno-area basketball fans: Hoover High coach Tezale Archie wants you to help pack the stands tonight at the northeast Fresno school’s Event Center, where the Patriots are taking on Hillsdale High School of San Mateo in the CIF Division IV quarterfinals.

Tipoff: 6 p.m.

Archie, himself a Hoover High alum (Class of ’95) told GV Wire earlier today that he remembers the excitement of playing in Hoover’s West Gym — nicknamed “the crackerjack box” because of its size — when it was standing room only and the fire marshal showed up on occasion to check the crowd capacity. (Think “Hoosiers.”)

Archie, who is in his first year as Hoover’s boys’ basketball coach and also as a special education teacher at the school, was excited to come back home to Fresno after playing professional basketball in European leagues and setting records while playing for Pepperdine University.

Basketball, whether playing or coaching, has always been his passion.

Nancy Price

School Zone

Players Raise Their GPAs

“It’s about raising the level of expectation for the students, and setting a standard of excellence in behaviors we want to see them exhibit on a daily basis.” — coach Tezale Archie

But his excitement at getting his “dream job” coaching Hoover’s team almost pales in comparison to his excitement at how his players are striving for excellence, on and off the court.

The team’s collective grade-point average in the first semester was 2.96 — almost a B — and players who previously had a 2.2 or 2.3 GPA “now have a 3.5 for the first time in their life. They say, ‘Coach, I should be 3.6 once my teacher grades my essay,’ ” Archie says.

Those attitudes are filtering into the student culture at Hoover, he says. “It’s about raising the level of expectation for the students, and setting a standard of excellence in behaviors we want to see them exhibit on a daily basis.”

Students who work hard on the court and in the classroom, “you make that the habit, come Friday night or test time, you’re going to be successful when you do the right thing on a daily basis,” Archie says.

Archie Family Full of Athletes

Sports and athletics are a hallmark of the Archie family, predominantly in track and field, but also in baseball, football, and other sports. His uncle Cornell Archie won a high school state championship in the triple jump before starring for Fresno State, and siblings Lauren and Duran also were track and field athletes at Fresno State.

Tezale Archie knows that his student-athletes have their eye on winning a championship. Only one team will win that, but all student-athletes are winners, he says, because they are learning about the importance of being accountable, of teamwork, of fighting adversity — “all the things you need in life to be successful.”

He’s hoping the team’s success this year will continue next season — this year’s squad includes a freshman, sophomore, and three juniors — and will generate the kind of excitement he remembers from his own playing days at Hoover.

To have standing room only crowds again, to see the stands packed with fans wearing “the green and white” —”Absolutely, that’s my goal,” Archie says.

Hoover High School’s boys basketball team with coach Tezale Archie. (Photo provided by Tezale Archie)

 

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