Douglas Benton • NorCalPreps
Sean Chambers has a storied history with prep basketball in the Sacramento area. The latest chapter is at Antelope High School, which has developed into a premier program in the area.
Antelope has played in four section finals in the past five years with titles in 2018 and 2020. They have won eight league titles in 11 years of varsity basketball.
"One of our goals when I got to Antelope, we had to overcome El Camino High School. Bill Baxter was the top of the food chain in Sacramento and we needed to learn how to beat them. Once we beat them, I knew we were on our way," Chambers said.
With the plan in place, any successful program has a supportive administrative behind it and Antelope is no exception.
“It started with leadership. John Becker was the first principal and his focus was to build a school where sports were important. He hired some really amazing coaches,” Chambers said. “This has been consistent with Tino Guzman, who is now the principal.”
On the floor, the Titans had talent come in right away with players like Tyler Ellis, Taylor Hawkins, Ashley Hawkins, Bailey Hawkins and Kameo Warrens among others.
“There was a development boom in Antelope. My old classmates (at Highlands) actually moved over to the Antelope area,” said Chambers, who also noted an early and sustained connection to Antelope Crossing Middle School which feeds into Antelope High School.
"I took everything Oak Ridge and El Camino were doing to be successful and implement that at Antelope High School," Chambers said. "Basically that meant it's getting to the kids at a younger age in your community."
The program began to shift in the 2013-2014 with AJ Baylon coming in as a sophomore from Del Oro and Nadia and Nia Johnson enrolling as freshmen.
“AJ was a team first player but she had a leadership skill to take over games,” Chambers said. “Whatever we asked, there was no pushback. She was the first player coach in the program. She was the turn of the program.”
Antelope then brought in Azaana Sands in 2014, Arianna Spann in 2015, the trio of Jordan Goodwin, Angel Jordan and Angelia Jordan in 2016 and then Jzaniya Harriel and Kaiija Lesane in 2017.
Even as the program gained notoriety, the creed for the Titans remained the same.
“I’ve been about to facilitate a we not me model,” Chambers said. “First and foremost, we represent Antelope High School.”
Chambers was a standout player at Highlands before playing at Cuesta College and Cal Poly, where he is in the school's Hall of Fame. He played professionally for 14 years in numerous countries, most notably in the Philippines. He is currently a school administrator at Fern Bacon Middle School.