Former Sierra Canyon standouts Martin and Stanley selected in second round of NBA draft

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

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

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

“Stanley is arguably the design’s most explosive jumper with a 44-inch vertical line, making it a nightmare for defenses in transition,” said ESPN analyst Mike Schmitz. “In addition to his resilience, position size at 6-6 and noise when stationary, he gives him the ingredients to play a role as a 3-and-D style grand piano in the future.”

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

Martin was projected to go un-drafted in most mock drafts, but in some he was selected in the last five picks, so he shifted 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 taking on a CIF Southern Section title in his second season. He transitioned to Sierra Canyon for his junior season, winning back-to-back CIF State Open Division crowns, culminating in 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 of his 29 appearances. The Blue Devils went 25-6 before the coronavirus pandemic brought the NCAA season to a screeching silence in March.

Martin originally committed to Vanderbilt, but after graduating from Sierra Canyon, decided to enroll at the IMG Academy in Florida instead. At IMG, a postgraduate program for athletes looking to improve their skills and boost their recruitment before entering 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 on pursuing the NBA Draft under 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 (# 2 pick in 2018) as former Trailblazers to reach the NBA ranks.

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