NBA Draft: Camarillo’s Finest

Jaime Jaquez goes through media interviews after he was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft on Thursday. Photo: @MiamiHeat /

Camarillo High grad Jaime Jaquez Jr. completes rise in the NBA Draft with No. 18 selection in first round by the Miami Heat. For the second straight year of the NBA Draft, California also has two selected in the second round.


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As he was getting ready for this year’s NBA Draft, UCLA standout and Camarillo High grad Jaime Jaquez Jr. was undergoing training from former NBA player, former UCLA standout and Simi Valley High grad Don MacLean.

Jaquez was widely considered in most NBA mock drafts to be a late first round choice when UCLA had its season end in March. But with the help of MacLean and after impressive showings in pre-draft workouts, Jaquez got good news when he was invited to be in the same room as others who were expected to be chosen in the higher positions of the draft, which was conducted on Thursday night in Brooklyn.

This is how Jaime looked as a freshman when he was selected to the all-state freshman team. Photo: ACHS Basketball.

The good news for Jaquez continued during the draft itself. He was selected at No. 18 overall in the first round by the Miami Heat, which just lost in the NBA Finals to the Denver Nuggets. It would seem to be a perfect place for Jaquez to develop in his NBA career.

Just after his name was called, Jaquez got to hug his parents, got lifted off the ground on a hug from younger brother Marcos (who was a lineman on Camarillo High’s football team the last three seasons and just graduated from the school), and also hugged his younger sister Gabriela, who is on UCLA’s women’s team.

That 18th pick also was significant since it made Jaime the highest selected player ever in the NBA Draft from Ventura County. The previous best was 19th and it was by Don MacLean when he was chosen in the 1992 draft. MacLean was initially picked by the Detroit Pistons, but was traded on draft day to the Washington Bullets (now Wizards). Note that longtime NBA player Jamaal Wilkes, also a rookie of the year, counts for Santa Barbara High since that is where he played as a senior after he played three years at Ventura High.

Jaquez was a four-year varsity standout at Camarillo who gained all-state freshman honors from Cal-Hi Sports in 2016. He ended his career with 2,627 points, which is inside the top 35 on the all-time state list (not far behind others like Jrue Holiday and Jason Kidd but in front of others like Lonzo Ball and Bill Cartwright).

Sierra Canyon Strikes Again

For the fourth straight year and the fifth time in six years, at least one player from Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth has been selected in either the first round or second round of the NBA Draft.

Amari Bailey played four years for Sierra Canyon with one Mr. Basketball selection and many other All-American honors. Photo: Harold Abend.

The streak continued in 2023 with Amari Bailey going at No. 41 in the second round to the Charlotte Hornets. Bailey was a freshman who came off the bench to provide spectacular dunks and more on Sierra Canyon’s 2019 team that won the CIF Open Division state title. He was Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year as a junior for the 2021 season, didn’t get it as a senior and then played as a freshman this last season at UCLA.

The streak began in the 2018 NBA Draft when Marvin Bagley (went to Sierra Canyon as a junior before reclassing and leaving for Duke the next season) was chosen at No. 2 overall by the Sacramento Kings.

There were no Trailblazers chosen in 2019, but then in 2020 there were two in the second round, Kenyon Martin Jr. and Cassius Stanley. The streak has continued since then with Ziaire Williams in the first round and Brandon Boston in the second round and then last season with Christian Koloko in the second round.

Will the streak keep going next year? Well, if it does, it will be because Bronny James has come off of a strong freshman season playing at USC and it is well known that his famous dad, LeBron, wants to play with him someday in the league.

Etiwanda Adds Another NBA Player, Too

As the second round of Thursday’s draft was getting down to the later picks, there was at least one Sacramento Kings fan that was hoping that Jaylen Clark of Etiwanda would fall into the Kings’ spot at No. 54 overall.

Clark, the Pac 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year from UCLA and whose presence was missed in the NCAA tourney by the Bruins due to injury, didn’t quite make it to the Kings. He was picked at No. 53 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

If he had been chosen by the Kings, Clark would have been on a team that had Kessler Edwards of Etiwanda on the roster just last season. Edwards had come over to the Kings earlier last season via a trade.

Joining the Timberwolves, however, still will mean that Clark will be on an NBA team with an Etiwanda grad. The team has had point guard Jordan McLaughlin on the roster since 2019. McLaughlin also just had his jersey retired at Etiwanda last season.

Etiwanda also has had an alum, Darren Collison, who also has played for the Kings.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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