High-level basketball recruits don’t just drop out of the sky, especially in the Sacramento region.
The Sheldon Huskies might feel differently after this week.
On Friday, Marcus Bagley — the younger brother of Kings first-round pick Marvin Bagley III — officially enrolled at Sheldon High School, bringing a top prospect to a program already on the national radar. Bagley is a 6-foot-7 forward with guard skills, a junior who can shoot 3-pointers, run the floor, pass and thunder dunk. His highlight tapes reveal a player who can do it all.
Bagley has scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and USC despite not playing last season.
Marcus Bagley, his parents and a younger brother recently moved into a house near Sheldon within the Elk Grove Unified School District. Bagley’s father, Marvin Jr., told The Bee in June after his son’s introductory news conference at Golden 1 Center that the family would move to Sacramento as a support unit.
Bagley and his older brother were teammates at Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth two years ago, when Bagley III was the No. 1 prospect in America. As a freshman, Bagley averaged 3.2 points, though he likely would have scored a lot more if he were at another program that wasn’t so steeped in talent.
The Bagley family moved to North Carolina last year to be close to Bagley III, who had an exceptional freshman season at Duke before the Kings selected him No. 2 in the draft. Sheldon is the defending Northern California Open Division champion, having lost to Sierra Canyon at Golden 1 Center in the state finals.
The Huskies figured to be a powerhouse again this winter with key returning players Xavion and Xavier Brown, Justin Nguyen and Kaito Williams, but the addition of Bagley ups the ante considerably.
“He adds a whole new dimension for us,” Sheldon coach Joey Rollings said on Friday. “He’s big. He can post up, he can shoot and he can pass. He can really friggin’ play. I saw his highlights and thought, ‘Oh, wow!’
“We already have a great program. Our guys share the ball, play defense, play hard, and they’re great kids. Marcus seems like a really nice kid. It’ll be fun to see how it turns out.”
Rollings and his Huskies players first met with Bagley on Friday. The Bagley family has been on a tour of sorts with Puma, which signed Bagley III to a multiyear apparel endorsement deal in June.
Social media was buzzing about the news, some suggesting the rich get richer. Big-name players with NBA links rarely dot area programs.
Rollings bristled at any notion that Sheldon some how influenced the Bagley family to come to his school. Rollings spent the bulk of his summer traveling with family, including stops to Canada and Arizona.
“If you win in any sport, kids will come, especially if it’s a good school,” Rollings said. “That’s just the way it goes. I’m going to coach the kids we have here. Even before Marcus got here, we thought we could get back to the state finals.”
Bagley is the region’s biggest-name basketball addition since 2002, when guard DeMarcus Nelson transferred from Vallejo High to Sheldon for his senior season. Nelson finished his prep career as the state’s all-time career scorer and was a four-year standout at Duke who has played professionally since 2008.
Sheldon principal Paula Duncan said she has not met her newest student, but expects to notice a 6-7 guy on campus any time. She added that Sheldon is about more than athletics. The school that opened in 1997 has long been known for academics, its band, choir, arts and animation, bio tech and more.
“That’s what it should be — a lot of things for students,” Duncan said. “We have everything.”
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