The Roybal High School (Los Angeles) boys basketball team is celebrating the first Los Angeles city title in school history, and it has a touch of real-time tragedy to thank for its success.
Roybal currently stands at 19-0. Somehow, the Royals are the only undefeated prep basketball team in Southern California. That they have achieved as much as they have is made particularly remarkable because they’re doing so while head coach Danny O’Fallon undergoes treatment for stage four intestinal cancer.
With O’Fallon potentially missing parts of the season for chemotherapy and other treatment, his team rallied behind him. The Royals refused to drop any regular season games, even meaningless ones, and are now ready to continue fighting into the CIF playoffs.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was like what is going on coach? Are you OK? And then he looked at me and he put his hand up,” Roybal senior Jesus Rios told Los Angeles CBS affiliate KCAL. “And I was like, you know what? I got to work hard.”
It all mattered, and it all worked. Now Roybal is chasing the impossible, immaculate season, all as a testament to a coach who has helped them reach heights they didn’t think possible, in part by putting his own vulnerability in public so his players know everything that’s on the line, and everything they can accomplish for themselves and their school.