Marvin Bagley III made his mark on Arizona high school basketball scene in just one season, and he returned on Friday to workout for the Phoenix Suns.
“I know a lot of people here, I have a lot of family here,” Bagley said. “When I was younger, I just remember watching that playoffs and Suns vs Lakers games. We used to have barbeques and come over to the house and have a good time and just watch the games. Just to be able to be here and be on the court working out with this team, that will mean the world to me to come back and be in my hometown.”
Bagley was a part of one of the best Arizona high school basketball teams ever over at Corona del Sol in the 2014-15 season. Bagley, a freshman at the time, current University of Arizona guard Alex Barcello, Portland state guard Tyrell Henderson, New Mexico forward Dane Kuiper and Cassius Peat, who at the time was committed to Michigan State for football was the starting lineup. Vanderbilt guard Saben Lee, who is coming off a freshman season where he averaged over 10 points per game and led the team in steals and assists, was coming off the bench under Sammy Duane.
Since then, he moved on to Hillcrest Prep Academy, where he played with fellow top NBA Draft prospect Deandre Ayton, and then again to Sierra Canyon in California.
“That was a good time (playing with Ayton),” Bagley said. “We definitely got to know each other there and got close with each other. We played a lot of tough games. I remember we used to play junior colleges and just go and scrimmage. It was a fun experience. We used to beat up on those guys together.”
Bagley, a class of 2018 recruit, reclassified to the class of 2017 and committed to Duke last August. In his lone season with the Blue Devils, he averaged 21.0 points, 11.1 rebounds per game while shooting 61% from the field and 39.7% from beyond the arc.
“I think what stood out to us was the athleticism,” McDonough said. “Obviously, at 6-foot-11, he runs really well. He’s a very fluid and agile athlete at that size. He jumps really well, had close to a 40-inch vertical and second-jump is elite. He’s very good in transition, some of the transition stuff we did, he changes ends of the floor extremely well at that size, and just a great, humble, hard-working kid.”
Most years, Bagley could be the consensus top pick in the draft, but in the national conversation, he seems to be named after Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic. Both he and Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said they aren’t sure why that is.
“He’s certainly worthy,” McDonough said. “The only reason I can think of is this year, it’s a good position for us to be in, like I said before, but it seems like there are multiple guys who are worthy. Some years, to be honest, you don’t have any guys who probably deserve it but somebody has to go one. This year, for us, we’re looking at four, five, six guys and he’s one of them, for sure.”
What’s Next For Marvin Bagley
Bagley said this was his first private workout, and he plans to also workout for the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.