Not 1; Not 2; But 3
All eyes shifted to the rafters in the southwest corner of the Meruelo Athletic Center as the Mater Dei boys’ basketball team was honored with the hanging of a CIF-SS championship banner, a CIF-State championship banner, and a National championship banner. The Monarchs have now won 22 sectional championships and 11 state titles. Perhaps surprisingly to some, the national championship, as awarded by both MaxPreps and Blue Star Media, was the first such crown in school history for the sport.
Not 1; But 2
Katie Lou Samuelson was recognized for being named the 2013-14 Gatorade California Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Samuelson averaged 26.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for the season. The junior, who recently committed to the University of Connecticut, shot 62 percent overall from the field, 54 percent from behind the three-point arc, and 89 percent from the free throw line this year.
On the same note, Stanley Johnson was presented as the 2013-14 Gatorade California Boys Basketball Player of the Year. For the year, Johnson, the University of Arizona signee, averaged 25 points and 8 rebounds per game. Additionally, he shot 54 percent from the floor and averaged 3.6 assists and 2.5 steals this season.
Stan(ley) The Man
Johnson also had his #41 jersey retired into the school’s Hall of Fame. Wondering why? Go ahead and roll the tape on, to date, his most notable heavy lifting as a varsity team member of the Mater Dei Boys Basketball Program:
- Played on four Trinity League championship teams
- Played on two CIF-SS championship teams (sophomore and senior years)
- Played on four CIF-State upper division championship teams (the first player to do so in the history of California high school basketball)
- Played on a 35-0 undefeated team (senior year)
- Played on a national championship team, the first in school history, as voted on by MaxPreps and Blue Star Media (senior year)
- Orange County Register Player of the Year (junior and senior years)
- Los Angeles Times Player of the Year (junior and senior years)
- CIF-SS Player of the Year (junior and senior years)
- Trinity League Male Athlete of the Year (senior year)
- John R. Wooden Player of the Year (senior year)
- Cal-High Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year (senior year)
- Gatorade California State Player of the Year (senior year)
- MaxPreps National Players of the Year (senior year)
- Jordan Brand Classic Game All-American (senior year)
- McDonald’s Game All-American (senior year)
Philip Bellomo, Director of Athletics