One of my favorite things about high school basketball is discovering and subsequently following a talented player before he blows up. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s almost like investing in a stock before it skyrockets in value, or going to see an underground rapper before he gets a deal.
Watching him against St. AnthonyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on Saturday, I became more and more impressed with Hotchkiss freshman point guard Makai Mason. Mason is a good shooter with nice handle, every pass he threw was a bounce pass, and he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t appear daunted in the least in facing off with the No. 2 team in the nation. I honestly had to keep checking the program and asking people around me, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are we sure this kidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a freshman?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hotchkiss ended up losing a tightly contested game, 74-63, but Mason ended up with 12 points, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 three-pointers. As he gets older and his body gets stronger, I expect to hear very big things about him — heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already very impressive and still has three years of high school to go.
Terry Rains of Blue Devil Nation and I caught up with Makai on Saturday and discussed what college and pro point guards he identifies with, his lofty expectations for his own game, and whether heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s considering any schools at such an early stage.