NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – It didn’t come as a shock to Team WhyNot (Calif.) guard Cassius Stanley that when he made his trademark bursts to the basket he was finishing with a bit more ease than he was at the final Nike EYBL session in Hampton, Virginia in May.
Scoring on elite high school players is a walk in the park when you’ve been scoring on college and NBA stars for the last month.
“I spent most of June just playing in pickup games at UCLA,” said Stanley, who is ranked No. 9 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2019. “I knew that I could take my game to the next level. I wanted to have a big July.”
Stanley laced ‘em up against current and former UCLA players and NBA stars like Zach Randolph and as well as former NBA stars like Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
“I did well; I definitely held my own,” Stanley said. “At first I was a little nervous, but every day I would pick it up more and more. It became a regular open run really quick.”
Still, even at a chiseled 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, Stanley said the biggest adjustment in playing with pros and college players is the level of physicality.
“It’s way different,” Stanley said. “They’re just bigger and stronger and they know how to use their strength in different ways. They know all the tricks. You have to keep adjusting. I feel like it helped me grow as a player.”
The pickup games over the last month helped to elevate everything from his hoops IQ to his jump shot, according to Stanley.
Now he’s determined to show his peers and the large contingent of college coaches at Peach Jam the fruits of his labor.
“I’m proud of the work I’ve been putting in,” Stanley said. “I can feel more strength and more speed when I’m playing. My goal is to win Peach Jam and I know that all of the experiences I had in June are gonna help me get there.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY