Hallinan ready to lead hoops squad

Senior Brendan Hallinan enjoys his final year playing guard on La Verne’s basketball team. Hallinan has been on the team for four years and is majoring in movement and sports science. / photo by Leah Heagy
Senior Brendan Hallinan enjoys his final year playing guard on La Verne’s basketball team. Hallinan has been on the team for four years and is majoring in movement and sports science. / photo by Leah Heagy

Basketball season has started. Fans attending the games can get rowdy, excited, and, if the team is anything like it was last season—if not better, fans will not leave disappointed.

On the court, you may notice a particular player – one who seems to always be in the zone, but who does not try to take the game over solely by himself. You may notice No. 40, Brendan Hallinan, or “Brendo” as his teammates call him.

Hallinan is from Alhambra and attended La Salle High School. “I started playing when I was really young,” Hallinan said. “Basketball’s always been my passion; it’s the one sport I found I was really good at, and it’s fast action, and you play any time.”

The common theme coaches and teammates would say about Brendo is his work ethic. He, himself, cited Larry Bird as one of his heroes.

“His work ethic was insane,” Hallinan said. “The first one in the gym, the last one to leave. That’s really how every great player is. They want to lead their team, and they try to set the tone, and, hopefully, people will emulate them.”

Head coach Richard Reed has nothing but respect and gratitude when talking about Brendo.

“To me, Brenden is the epitome of what a La Verne Leopard should be. He is absolutely, in my 10 years of coaching, the most unselfish person I have ever been around,” Reed said.

“I truly believe Brenden thinks of other people first, second and third, and he tries to help anybody and everybody the best way he knows how.”

Kyle Luhnow, senior forward, spoke just as highly of his teammate. “He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met, and may ever meet,” Luhnow said. “And the passion that he has for the game is unreal, but it’s real, and you immediately get that from him.”

And this sentiment is true for all of Hallinan’s teammates. “The greatest compliment someone can say about someone is when your peers can say the same thing,” Reed said. “His teammates look at him the same way. He’s basically the guy that people on our team look to for leadership.”

Hallinan graduated last spring with a bachelor of science degree and is now pursuing a master’s in leadership and management at ULV. His love for the game at La Verne motivated him to come back and play one more year.

“I just love the atmosphere at La Verne, and I wanted to keep playing basketball,” Hallinan said. “I had one more year of eligibility and didn’t want that to slip away. And this year, this team has the potential of being something special—a great team, great coaching staff, it’s just fun, to keep it simple. No one wants to get out into the real world right now.”

“He’s going to be a successful human being in whatever he takes up in this world,” Reed said. “But he chose to come back another year to be with his teammates, and I think that is what a Leopard is. He gets everything out of the experience. He doesn’t let a day go by.”

Hallinan, who above anything else, is a team player, would have rather talked about his team than himself. Touching on his head coach and his fellow players, Hallinan was very excited. “[Reed] is a very animated guy. He has as much energy—sometimes more energy—than the players,” Hallinan said. “His energy is contagious; every day he’s full of vigor. He’s a good motivator, but I think the best thing, the thing I like the most, he seems to genuinely care about players on and off the court. He wants you to be successful in life.”

The basketball team lost itsfirst two games of the season, to Colorado College, 86-85, and then to North Park, 70-65.

But the losses do not have Hallinan flustered or dissuaded.

“The great thing is there is room for improvement,” Hallinan said. “And we’re not even close to reaching our potential yet.”

Alex Senyo can be reached at alexander.senyo@laverne.edu.

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