The Arizona Wildcats forged another link to their past Monday by adding Trey Mason, the son of former UA guard Harvey Mason Jr., as a walk-on guard for next season.
Harvey Mason Jr., who played in 116 games for the Wildcats from 1986-90 before becoming an acclaimed songwriter and music and movie producer in Los Angeles, announced his son's decision on Twitter. He said Trey would receive a leadership scholarship for academics.
Trey Mason will become the first son of a Lute Olson-era player to play under coach Sean Miller. Last week, Miller also hired one of Olson's former star guards, Damon Stoudamire, as an assistant coach.
The 6-foot-2-inch Mason, who averaged 15.5 points for Los Angeles' Loyola High School last season, also continues a Loyola recruiting connection: The school is home to committed 2014 point guard recruit Parker Jackson-Cartwright and the alma mater of current UA walk-on Jacob Hazzard.
Loyola coach Jamal Adams said Mason was also being recruited as a walk-on with a chance to play himself into a scholarship at both the University of Portland and Santa Clara. But he opted instead to go where his father played basketball and his mother, Jeannine Sharp, played volleyball.
"I think the legacy" was a factor, Adams said. "He and his father are very close. He's a big admirer of his dad.
"Ultimately, his dad and mom were Wildcats, and he just felt like if he was going to do that battle (as a walk-on) he'd do it at a school where he felt more comfortable."
Mason may have had a chance to gain a full scholarship offer this summer if he kept playing on the travel circuit, according to Etop Udo-Ema, director of the Compton Magic travel-ball program.
Unsigned seniors are allowed to play in travel tournaments, and Udo-Ema said Mason played impressively in two recent tournaments for the Magic, whose alums include current UA guard Gabe York.
"He's a Division I player, man," Udo-Ema said. "I'm really surprised they missed the boat on him. I believe if he played this spring and summer (on the travel-ball circuit) he would get multiple offers. He can flat-out shoot the rock."
Attempts to reach Trey Mason were unsuccessful.
At Loyola, Mason played shooting guard alongside Jackson-Cartwright last season, absorbing increased defensive attention as a combo guard when Jackson-Cartwright sat out all but one league game because of a severely sprained foot and ankle.
"He's predominantly a stretch-the-floor shooter," Adams said of Mason. "When Parker was hurt, he saw a lot of double teams. He did some great things, driving it and (shooting from) midrange. He had some wonderful games."
Geary's team wins Japan title
During two seasons as a head coach in Japan, former Wildcat player and coach Reggie Geary has taken the Yokohama B-Corsairs from expansion team to champions of the professional b-j league.
Geary, who played for the Wildcats in the 1990s and served as a coach and administrator under Olson, led Yokohama to a third-place finish last season.
"It's incredible. It's unbelievable," Geary told the Japan Times. "I know this hasn't set in yet, but these guys have been through so much this season and really have just shown such high character throughout the entire season."
Geary is the first foreign coach to win a title in the b-j league, a fact he said he's proud of.
"There's been a lot of great coaches, Japanese, American, Europeans that have competed in this league," Geary told the Japan Times. "And for me to be the first one, I take great honor and I will continue to work hard."
Jerrett impresses at combine
Draft Express named former UA freshman forward Grant Jerrett one of 16 players who stood out at the 63-player NBA combine last week in Chicago, saying the 6-10 forward was one of the best shooters there.
"It's difficult to find stretch power forwards these days, and (Jerrett) seems to fit the bill in that regard at least," Draft Express wrote on its website. "He struggled at times defensively and with the physicality of the older players, but showed a high skill-level utilizing both hands in the post and a soft touch. With his long wingspan and standing reach and solid skill-level, Jerrett had a good week in Chicago and could have some strong momentum to build off moving forward in the draft process."
Meanwhile, Draft Express rated former UA forward Solomon Hill No. 15 in overall athletic testing results at the combine, while placing Jerrett at No. 44.
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