Underdog high school basketball team in Canoga Park in semifinals

A high school basketball team thought to be underdogs is making big headlines and exceeding expectations this season.

The players attend the Armenian General Benevolent Union Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park. In the past three years, the AGBU Titans have moved up three divisions.

There are 11 players on the team – eight seniors, two sophomores, and one freshman. They say they don’t see themselves as the most talented players, but their preparation, determination, and resilience have been on a winning streak.

Nareg Kopooshian has been coaching at the school for the past five years, but he’s been coaching the group of players since they were 8 years old.

"The part that I think makes us love basketball the most is the fact that we get to play with all our friends…  there's no nervousness around that. There's no one to impress," senior Avand Dorian said.

"I was once the tallest person in the room, and now I’m not," Kopooshian said.

Coach Kopooshian emphasizes "student" in the phrase student-athletes. The whole team works hard on and off the court and cumulatively has a 4.0 GPA. Academic studies come first and they also practice six days a week for two hours, and an hour of film.

They play in the semifinals Friday night. By the end of the season, their goal is to clinch their division and take the championship.