Former legendary Morningside High School basketball Carl Franklin has died. He was 74.
News of Franklin’s death was first circulated on Facebook on Tuesday April 7th as current Morningside head coach Dee Meekins posted.
Franklin was among the most successful high school basketball coaches in Southern California and arguably the greatest in the City of Inglewood. He coach former Lakers such as Byron Scott and Elden Campbell at Morningside and spent 40 years at the school as an administrator and coach.
Franklin reportedly died early Tuesday at a hospital in Los Angeles after a short illness, according to a family member.
Born April 3, 1946, in Detroit, Franklin ran cross-country in high school in Detroit before moving to Riverside and attending Cal State Los Angeles, where he began to learn about coaching basketball and got his teaching credential. He was drafted into military service in 1966.
Franklin came to Morningside, which is down the street from the Forum, in 1971 first as a security aid and got some tips from the head coach, Jim Harrick, who’d go on to coach UCLA to a 1995 national championship. Franklin took over as Morningside’s head coach in 1976.
“He was in the gym every day watching us,” Harrick said. “He was a wonderful guy.”
Among the players Franklin coached were Scott and Campbell, who ended up playing for the Lakers. His 1992 team featured Stais Boseman and won a state Division III championship. He went on to become an athletic director and administrator in the district. He retired in 2005 after a bout with cancer and had been living in Los Angeles.
In a Jockbio.com story, Scott said of Franklin, “I connected with Coach Franklin well early in my Morningside career. He was a great high school coach. We called him the little pit bull, because he was small in stature, but he was a big man on campus. Everyone feared him because he was so tough and such a disciplinarian, and everyone had tremendous respect for him because of his knowledge of basketball.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.