Boys' basketball program lands freshman phenom

Cassius Stanley ’19 officially enrolled at Harvard-Westlake and practiced with the boys’ basketball team for the first time Thursday, less than 48 hours after appearing on television screens across the country in Sportscenter’s top 10 plays of the week.

Stanley confirmed this over twitter, tweeting the following:

Stanley was also considering Sierra Canyon, Village Christian and Findlay Prep in Nevada, according to a story by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer. The hiring of newly appointed head coach David Rebibo played a big role in Stanley’s decision to enroll at Harvard-Westlake, Stanley told the Chronicle Thursday night.

“I was already looking at Harvard-Westlake based on the academics, but once Coach Rebibo got the job I made up my mind this was the school I wanted to come to,” Stanley said. “I like his knowledge of the game and the intensity he brings to every practice and game.”

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Encino quickly learned just how intense Rebibo is during his first practice with the team.

“It was exciting getting to finally practice with the guys,” Stanley said. “It was an intense practice, so intense I actually threw up after it.”

During the final days of May, Stanley participated in the Pangos All-American Camp, to which only the best nationally ranked high school basketball players are invited. Stanley was named MVP of the camp’s “Cream of the Crop” top 60 game. The camp has produced big names, as past attendees include NBA superstars James Harden, John Wall, Russell Westbrook and DeAndre Jordan.

Two days later, Stanley appeared on Sportscenter’s top 10 plays. He came in at number 10 on the list for replicating Vince Carter’s “Cookie Jar” dunk. The YouTube video of the dunk, which can be seen below, has racked up over 300,000 views since its publishing on Tuesday.

The video of the dunk began making the rounds on the internet, appearing on Bleacher Report and USA Today, among other media outlets. For fans getting excited over the tantalizing prospect of seeing similar dunks in the near future at Taper Athletic Pavilion, Stanley has some good news.

“I’ll try to do something special every time on a fast break, especially when we play at home,” Stanley said.

Among Stanley’s strengths are his athleticism, off-the-dribble shooting, slashing ability and ability to finish through contact, according to Future150.c0m. These abilities have drawn attention from NCAA Division I programs; Stanley received a scholarship offer from USC in eighth grade.

The new Wolverine is expected to make his debut with the team this weekend at the Mater Dei summer tournament.

Stanley’s personal goal for the upcoming season is to “live up to all the hype and expectations to the best of my abilities.”

His goal for the team?

“To win a CIF(-Southern Section) Championship.”

 

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