James Logan High basketball team shooting for state champinship

UNION CITY, Calif. (KTVU) -- Members of the James Logan High School boys' basketball team hope to make history in two days by winning their first state championship.

The Logan Colts team came close only once and that was 32 years ago. And now the players are fighting their way to the top as the school swells with pride over the players' accomplishments so far.

The state championship game will be played Friday night in Sacramento.

Team members say success comes from overcoming challenges.

"It's way more than basketball," said Jordan McGlory, the team's forward who is also co-captain. "It's about leadership (and) responsibility (from) believing in your teammates."

The team lives up to the school's slogan: "Diversity is our strength. Unity is our goal."

The varsity players say they take pride in their different ethnic backgrounds because the strength comes from the sum of its parts.

"They bring something different to the table so putting that all together makes one great team," said Ryan Parilla, a shooting guard for the Colts and a senior.

Many of the Colts players are physically smaller than many of their opponents, but they have a big heart.

"Always believe in the person next to you (and) put them up instead of down," Jordan said. "Don't bring anybody down."

The team has bounced back from challenges.

One came on Saturday in the Northern California championship against Palo Alto High when the Colts overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to win in overtime.

"It shows you that you can be down, but you're not out," said James Colyer, the Colt's co-captain. "That's just going to boost our confidence even more."

"That fired us up," Ryan said. "It gave us that chip on our shoulder that we need to win this game and make new history for our school."

If this Colts team wins the state championship, it will be Logan High's first ever championship.

In 1985, the Colts went to the state championship only to lose in overtime.

"They will remember this for the rest of their lives," says Melvin Easley, the team's coach since 2014. He said his philosophy and game plan work on and off the basketball court.

"This transcends just being on the court (and extends) to life," Easley said. "You're going to compete at everything you do."

Shouldering the weight of possibly making school history, these students say it's a burden they will gladly carry since it is about making a long-held dream come true.

"We've been talking about this since freshman," Jordan said. "We dreamed of something like this (and) we believe we can do it but it's just a surreal moment right now."

Coach Easley said win or lose, his players have already won in what matters most: the lessons they've learned on this journey will carry over into life.

By KTVU reporter Amber Lee.

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