In a League filled with giants, it may be easy to overlook a player with the stature of Frank Mason III.
It’s nothing new for the Kings rookie, though – he’s been overlooked before but it hasn’t stopped him yet.
Mason III just wrapped up a college season that earned him enough accolades to fill up a trophy case, maybe even a room.
He was named Player of the Year by multiple outlets – Associated Press, Sporting News, USA Today – and collected the Oscar Robertson Award, Naismith Award, and Bob Cousy Award to boot.
Frank’s laundry list of recognition from a spectacular season and his overall success as a four-year player at a top program like Kansas can all be traced back to a failure – government class to be specific.
While enjoying a standout tenure at Petersburg High School in his home state of Virginia, Mason III had committed to play basketball at Towson University in nearby Maryland after flying under the radar for more notable programs.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch however, while Mason III was forced to retake a class by spending the following year at Massanutten Military Academy, Frank’s spotlight grew while playing ball for an AAU team.
A strong showing with his team at a Las Vegas tournament caught the attention of an assistant coach from Kansas which resulted in something that eluded Mason in the past – a scholarship offer from a top-tier college team.
Once arriving in Lawrence to suit up for the Jayhawks, Frank shined. In four seasons, Mason III became one of the most accomplished players in school history.
Finishing sixth in team history with 1,885 points, sixth in assists with 576, and eight in three-pointers, the young guard cemented himself among the upper echelon of previous talent in Kansas history.
Mason also played in 110 consecutive contests without missing a game, tying him for the third-longest stretch by any Jayhawk. Frank stands alone as the only player in KU history to finish in the top six for points and assists.
Now, Mason has received yet another opportunity to continue his path of success as he was selected at No. 34 overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2017 NBA Draft.
“I just want (my family members) to have the best lives possible,” Mason said while accepting his AP Player of the Year Award. “And I just want to work really hard and do everything I can to put them in a position to be successful.”
The top dog of his Kansas team will have to climb the ranks again amongst the best basketball talent in the world in the Association. But if fans know No. 15’s past – he’s likely to do so while displaying a tireless work ethic that easily exceeds expectations.