Former Sierra Canyon High teammates Cassius Stanley and Kenyon Martin Jr. were selected in the NBA draft, just two picks apart, on Wednesday night, Nov. 18.

Somewhat surprisingly, Martin, a 6-foot-7 forward, was selected before Stanley, at No. 52 overall by the Houston Rockets, while Stanley, a 6-6 guard, was taken No. 54 by the Indiana Pacers.

Both players, who graduated from Sierra Canyon in 2019 after leading the team to back-to-back CIF State championships, are most notably known for their explosiveness.

“Stanley is arguably the draft’s most explosive leaper with a 44-inch vertical that makes him a nightmare for defenses in transition,” according to ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz. “In addition to his bounce, his positional size at 6-6 and sound standstill shooting gives him the ingredients to carve out a role as a 3-and-D style wing in the future.”

Mock drafts and projection boards had Stanley going as high as late in the first round, but most had him going early in the second.

Martin was projected in most mock drafts to go undrafted, but some had him being selected in the final five picks, so he slid up the board a bit.

Stanley is a proven winner after winning a championship every year of his high school career. He won a CIF State title at Harvard-Westlake his freshman season before nabbing a CIF Southern Section title his sophomore season. He transferred to Sierra Canyon before his junior season and won back-to-back CIF State Open Division crowns, highlighted by his 2019 effort (17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game) as a senior. He earned 2019 Daily News Player of the Year honors.

Stanley signed with Duke and thrived there last season, starting in all 29 of his appearances. The Blue Devils went 25-6 before the coronavirus pandemic brought the NCAA season to a screeching halt in March.

Martin originally committed to Vanderbilt, but decided instead to enroll at IMG Academy in Florida after graduating from Sierra Canyon. At IMG, which is a post-graduate program for athletes looking to polish their skills and boost their recruitment before heading to a four-year college program, he averaged 19.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 30 minutes per game.

Martin’s eyes were always set on pursuing the NBA Draft with the guidance of his father Kenyon Martin, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NBA Draft.

Stanley and Martin now join Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (No. 2 pick in 2018) as former Trailblazers to reach the NBA ranks.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *