Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year B.J. Boston of state No. 1 Sierra Canyon and Evan Mobley of Rancho Christian, a national player of the year candidate for two years, headline the 41st annual Cal-Hi Sports all-state boys basketball teams. Go inside to see why these 10 have finished their careers as First Team Overall honorees out of the thousands who played this past season.
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2020 CAL-HI SPORTS ALL-STATE
ELITE BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS
FIRST TEAM OVERALL
F- Chibuzo Agbo (St. Augustine, San Diego) 6-7 Sr.
The San Diego Section’s Player of the Year, Agbo kept adding to his game each season and can do a bit of everything, whether it is to grab the tough rebound, handle the ball, of defend the ball. Among forwards, he was one of the best knock-down shooters in the state and averaged 22.6 ppg for a team that went 24-7 and finished No. 29 in the state rankings. Agbo canned 72 3-pointers as a senior, to follow up on the 65 he made as a junior, while shooting 42 percent from behind the line. Agbo also is a double-digit rebounder who’s as strong as a bull (can squat over 425 pounds) and a willing team player who doesn’t force the action or take bad shots. He’’ll be joined at Texas Tech by another California player — McDonald’s All-American Nimari Burnett of Prolific Prep. He and others from Prolific Prep, such as superstar guard Jalen Green (on this first team last year when he was at Fresno San Joaquin Memorial) are not eligible for these all-state teams.
C - Brandon Angel (Torrey Pines, San Diego) 6-8 Sr.
Not much separates Agbo and Angel in terms of their standing as the best players in the CIF San Diego Section this past season. Angel kept improving throughout his time with the Torreys, and saved his best for last, scoring 38 points and grabbing 10 rebounds despite sitting out half the fourth quarter in a blowout win over Chaminade of West Hills in the SoCal D1 regional playoffs. For the season, Angel averaged 20.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.2 spg, and 1.0 bpg for the San Diego Open runner-ups who finished with a 27-6 mark. He’s a knockdown shooter with size and has rapidly-developing ball skills and athleticism. That should serve him well at Stanford, where he joins an excellent recruiting class that includes fellow first teamer Ziaire Williams of Sierra Canyon.
G – Devin Askew (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-4 Sr.
A repeat Elite team selection, Askew moves up from the third team, as he was the only sophomore on last year’s elite team after helping the Monarchs to the state’s No. 2 final ranking. Last year’s Cal-Hi Sports State Sophomore of the Year, Askew re-classified to the 2020 class and is now set to join Mr. Basketball B.J. Boston at Kentucky. Askew used last year’s playoffs to earn a third team nod and once again had a major hand in Mater Dei playing its best ball of the year at the right time, leading them to another CIF Southern Section open game title appearance after entering the eight-team pool playoffs as a No. 7 seed. Askew gets on the first team after earning Orange County Player of the Year honors and making the 10-man L.A. Times All-Star Team. One of the best downhill point guards we’ve seen come down the pike in many years, Askew used his nice combination of size, strength and skill to average 16.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 6.3 apg for a team that finished ranked No. 4 in the state.
F - Marcus Bagley (Sheldon, Sacramento) 6-8 Sr.
As we stated last year when Bagley was named to the second ten, it’s not easy to dish out honors on super deep teams, especially Sheldon in the North, because sometimes statistics don’t show individual dominance or the local honors don’t match our evaluations. In the case of Bagley, his teammates Xavion Brown and Josh Williams were named co-players of the year by the Sacramento Bee after he shared the same honor with now graduated teammate Justin Nguyen in 2018-19. Bagley did miss games, perhaps too many for the Bee’s taste, but there was little doubt when on the court he was not only Sheldon’s most talented player, but the best player at any CIF NorCal school. He also finished strong, going for 27 points and making the winning basket in a 59-58 NorCal Open semifinal win over Dublin two nights before the plug was pulled on the season because of COVID-19 concerns. For the season, the MVP of the Battlezone Tournament who also had standout performances at the Tarkanian Classic, averaged 22.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg (both of which were higher than his junior season numbers), 2.8 apg and 2.1 bpg for the top team in NorCal. He’s also going down in our state record book as the NorCal region’s player of the year.
F – Brandon Boston Jr. (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 6-7 Sr.
Our 2020 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball, Boston was also named the CIF Southern Section Open Division Player of the Year, and of course, our SoCal Player of the Year. In the one year that he played ball in California, the one thing most scribes say when describing his game is “effortless.” Especially on offense, the game comes easy to him and Sierra Canyon coach Andre Chevalier feels the Norcross, Ga., transplant does not get enough credit for his rebounding (7.0 rpg) and passing (2.6 apg) ability. He joined fellow Sierra Canyon first team all-stater Ziarie Williams on the L.A. Times All-Star Team and will join Mater Dei’s Devin Askew at Kentucky.
G — Josh Christopher (Mayfair, Lakewood)
A Mr. Basketball finalist, Christopher is a cinch first teamer after making the second ten as a junior, when the Monsoons won the CIFSS D2AA crown. Mayfair didn’t have as much team success in 2019-20, but Christopher had some monster individual outings and left an indelible mark on those who witnessed him play. Against many tough foes, Christopher averaged 29.4 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 4.4 apg, 3.5 spg, and 1.7 bpg after posting junior norms of 25.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 5.2 apg and 3.2 spg. He was named Suburban League Player of the Year four times and finished his career with 2,755 points, which broke the school record (2,645) of two-time all-state choice (2000-01) and eventual NBA player Josh Childress. Both career scoring marks will go into our state record book. Similar to Childress, Christopher was named a McDonald’s All-American (he was also named to the Jordan Brand Classic) and was named to the 10-man L.A. Times All-Star Team for the second consecutive season.
C - Mason Hooks (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood) 6-9 Sr.
After Rancho Christian’s Evan Mobley, Hooks was the most consistently productive true post player on a state-ranked team. He also is one of the players who shot up on the all-state chart compared to his standing last season, whwen he was named third team all-state among juniors. Hooks was able to elevate to first 10 by averaging 18 ppg, 12 rpg and 2 bpg for a 25-7 team that finished No. 5 in the state after losing to top-ranked Sierra Canyon in the SoCal open semifinals. It wasn’t so much Hooks’ numbers that made the difference, but rather his intensity, physicality and dedication to his teammates that made the Wolverines such a hard out. With a leader like Hooks, who also excelled in the classroom, it’s no wonder Dave Rebibo really enjoyed coaching this year’s H-W team. Another member of the L.A. Times’ All-Star Team, Hooks was also chosen to the all-CIFSS open team. He’s headed to Princeton.
G – Ian Martinez (JSerra, San Juan Capistrano) 6-4 Sr.
Although he missed five Trinity League games because of a bothersome hip pointer, Martinez’s talent level and season accomplishments are too good to ignore for first 10 status. Martinez was named tourney MVP three times: at the Capo Valley Christian Tournament where he dropped 26 points on Mission Viejo in the final, at the North OC Tourney where he had 35 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a win over Josh Christopher and Mayfair, and at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic, where he averaged 20.8 ppg in four wins, including one over state No. 3 Sheldon (sans Marcus Bagley). Coach Keith Wilkinson noted Martinez’s mere presence and natural ability helps other players on the team up their games and, of course, his athletic ability could change the complexion of a game. Martinez’s numbers weren’t too shabby, either. He finished the season averaging 21.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.2 spg, and 1.4 bpg while shooting 3-pointers at a 41 percent clip and free throws at 85 percent. Also a member of the 10-man L.A. Times All-Star Team, Martinez is headed to Utah.
C - Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian, Temecula) 7-0 Sr.
There are clearly two ways to look at Mobley’s all-state candidacy. First, it is to know he’s considered a top 3 national prospect and from a national perspective, he was a Mr. Basketball USA finalist (a national player of the year honor that went to Cade Cunningham of FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy). The other is to consider expectation levels for his team and local honors (which we always consider but sometimes have to go against). Sure, Rancho Christian lost eight games, but it was against one of the nation’s toughest schedules so we weren’t going to go along with second teamer Paris Dawson of Corona Centennial being named Riverside Press-Enterprise Player of the Year, an honor Mobley earned as a junior. Our take in watching Mobley is that we know we’re looking at a special player and one who is capable of plays we’ve only seen a handful of times in our state the past 40 years. He also did earn plenty of honors to warrant being a Mr. Basketball finalist for the second consecutive season. He was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year for the second time and was honored with the Wooten Award, as the National Player of the year among McDonald’s All-Americans (this year’s actual game wasn’t played because of COVID-19 concerns). He was also named to the L.A. Times All-Star Team for the second consecutive season, and along the way produced spectacular moments on both ends of the floor while averaging 19 ppg, 12 rpg, 4 apg, 4 bpg for the state’s No. 7 ranked team. Mobley is headed to USC to join his father (who is on staff) and his older brother Isaiah, who also was a two-time all-state honoree.
F - Ziaire Williams (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 6-8 Sr.
Injuries affected many of the third 10 selections last season among seniors, but Williams’ talent was just too prominent to ignore. With his transfer from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks to Sierra Canyon, Williams had to sit out, missing the Trailblazers’ first 14 games. Once again, however, Williams’ talent level and production can’t be ignored, as he’s the second first ten selection from the state’s No. 1 team. Williams was named player of the year by both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Daily News (over teammate and Mr. Basketball B.J. Boston) after averaging 15 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.6 apg, and 2.4 spg in 21 games for the state’s top-ranked team. He started his season off with a bang (28 points versus Rancho Christian) and ended it with a bang (game winning shot in big SoCal open final comeback win over state No. 2 Etiwanda). We’re not all that surprised in today’s daily newspaper climate why a player who spent one season in California wasn’t chosen a local publication’s player of the year, but it’s evident had Williams not sat out the beginning of the season, he might have been the Mr. Basketball choice. It may be a while before we see two forwards as talented as Boston and Williams on the same team again.
Note: Co-founder Mark Tennis contributed to this report.