By: Maximillian Espinoza
With the start of the 2023-24 Men’s Basketball season less than a month away from starting, it’s important to highlight the success and accomplishments of past NorCal athletes that have put in the work to play at the collegiate level. With that said, let's take a look at some former NorCal hoopers that are expected to be among some of the best in the 2023-24 NCAA Men’s Basketball season using Andy Katz’s Top 10 list and Almanac’s Top 100 players list.
The first player to represent NorCal is Keshad Johnson, who ranked #9 on Andy Katz’s Top 10 NCAA Power Forwards list. Keshad Johnson played his high school career at San Leandro High School where in his senior year, he was named the West Alameda County Conference-Foothill League’s Most Valuable Player, won the West Alameda County Conference-Foothill League title, and led San Leandro to the CIF State Boys Basketball Division I playoffs. During his senior season Keshad committed to San Diego State University, where in his senior year at San Diego State he led the team to its first NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game appearance in program history. After the 2022-23 season, Keshad Johnson announced that he would transfer to the University of Arizona, who in the 2022-23 season had a 28-7 record, won the 2022-23 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, and received a no.2 seed in the 2022-23 NCAA Men’s basketball tournament.
The second player to represent NorCal is Darrion Trammell, who ranked #75 on Almanac’s Top 100 Players list. Darrion Trammell finished his high school career at St. Ignatius College Preparatory, where he was a first-team All-West Catholic Athletic League performer in his junior and senior year. After high school Darrion Trammell played one season at City College of San Francisco, where after leading the CCSF Rams to a 30-0 record and being named to the First Team All-CCCAA Coast Conference North team, he was given an athletic scholarship to Seattle University. Trammell spent two seasons at Seattle University where he won various conference awards in both seasons at SU including First Team All-WAC, WAC All Defensive Team, NABC First Team All-District 6, and WAC All-Tournament Team. In the 2022-23 season, Darrion Trammell transferred to San Diego State University, where he performed greatly for SDSU in the NCAA Tournament, winning the 2023 NCAA Tournament South Regional Most Valuable Player and hit the game winning free throw vs. Creighton to send San Diego State to its first NCAA Tournament Final Four appearance in school history.
Another player to represent NorCal on this list is Coleman Hawkins, who ranked #46 on Almanac’s Top 100 Players list. Coleman Hawkins initially played his first two years of high school basketball at Antelope High School before transferring to Prolific Prep after his sophomore year. In his senior year Coleman Hawkins helped lead Prolific Prep to a 31-3 record, win the program’s first-ever Grind Session championship, and committed to play at the University of Illinois. In the 2022-23 season, Hawkins entered his junior season as Illinois's starting power forward, where in 33 games he led UI in assists (3.0 apg), and averaged 9.9 points per game (9.9 ppg).
The final player to represent NorCal is Aidan Mahaney, who ranked #19 on Almanac’s Top 100 Players list. Aidan Mahaney played his high school career at Campolindo High School, winning a D-II state championship as a freshman and a D-I regional championship as a sophomore. As a senior Mahaney led Campolindo to a 28-2 record in the 2021-22 season which included a NCS Open Division Championship, and finished as CIF NorCal Open runner-ups. During the 2021-22 season Aidan Mahaney was named Bay Area NewsGroup Player of the Year, was selected to the MaxPreps All-Northern California/All-State team, and was named SBLive's All-North Coast Section Player of the Year. After his senior season, Aidan Mahaney committed to Saint Mary’s College, where in the 2022-23 season he was selected to First Team All-WCC as a freshman, received First Team All-District honors from the NABC and USBWA, and was named a finalist for the Kyle Macy Award, which is given to the best freshman in the country.
Also recently announced by Basketball Hall of Fame Jerry West Shooting Guard of the year Preseason watch list.