With the beginning of the new semester came a few, new basketball players. This included sophomore Marvin Bagley III, who is the number one ranked player nationwide for the class of 2018. However, with Bagley III’s arrival came the departure of star center junior Ira Lee to Prolific Prep, a prep school located in Northern California.
Bagley III, who is listed at 6-foot-10, brings a unique diversity to the team, as a big man who is good both offensively and defensively.
“Marvin should help us a lot on offense, but he’ll help us even more on defense. He’s a very good shot blocker; he’s a very good lockdown defender, and he can play on both ends. That’s what I think is most important to us, because we want to be the No.1 team in the country. He’s a very good athlete and he’ll help a lot,” teammate Stefan Klijaic said.
However, according to the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 19, Bagley III has been deemed ineligible to play by the CIF because “his transfer to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon was athletically motivated.” Bagley III can still appeal this decision, however. His appeal was on Jan. 26.
Although Bagley III decided to come to the school, Lee decided to transfer to Prolific Prep because he stated in an interview that “it is a better place for me to develop and expand my game.”
“I chose Prolific prep because I felt the program would let me expand my game and get me ready for the next level of basketball and the schedule is crazy…I get to play a top 25 school every game,” Lee said.
Bagley III played previously at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, Arizona, but decided to transfer because the school did not reach NCAA regulations. So, he was forced to go to online school, but for someone who wanted a traditional classroom setting, the online classroom was not getting it done.
“The online classroom wasn’t really doing it for me. I wanted a classroom where the teacher is right in front me, and I am able to ask questions if I don’t understand something,” Bagley III said.
At Hillcrest Prep, he was named Player of the Year by Arizona based website, azcentral.
“I chose to come to Sierra Canyon because of the combination of both education and basketball. I felt like Sierra gave me the best opportunity to succeed both in the classroom and on the basketball court,” Bagley III said.
Along with Bagley III, comes a variety of different eighth graders, including his brother Marcus, and Kljajic’s brother Jovan.
“Here, it’s a lot different because it’s not European basketball, it’s slower basketball. Here you must run fast, you must score fast; in Europe it’s all easy and slower,” Jovan Kljajic said