Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Girls Hoops: Freshman Player of the Year

Austyn Masuno of Oxford Academy. Photo/David Clifton.

Austyn Masuno of Oxford Academy. Photo/David Clifton.

If you didn’t know Oxford Academy had a girls basketball team, you do after the 2015-16 season. The Patriots are on the map after having their best season in school history and it’s thanks to freshman Austyn Masuno.

Oxford Academy went 0-20 twice in the last four seasons and hadn’t reached 10 wins since 2009. The Patriots had only reached double-digit wins four times in school history. After going 25-5 with an Academy League title, CIF-SS semifinals appearance and a trip to the CIF State playoffs, the losing days at Oxford Academy are long gone.

The freshman center averaged 18.9 points per game, 12.6 rebounds per game, 3.4 steals per game and 2.8 blocks per game with season-highs of 31 points against Crean Lutheran, 17 rebounds against the Saints and St. Margaret’s, seven blocks in the season opener against Orange at the Oxford Academy Tournament and nine steals against Brethren Christian. Masuno was named the OC Sidelines player of the week in January. The Patriots also won the Liberty Christian Tournament and made it to the Oxford Academy Tournament.

Masuno will have most of her team back minus one senior next season. Oxford Academy will be a scary team to play against next season. Masuno’s performance got her on the OC Sidelines All-County second team as she led the Patriots to No. 16 in the OC Sidelines Top 20 and for that Masuno is the 2015-16 OC Sidelines Freshman Player of the Year.

OC SIDELINES FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR Q&A

Name: Austyn Masuno

High School: Oxford Academy

Graduation Year: 2019

Height, weight: 6-0, 139

Position: Center

Can you put into words what this season has been like at Oxford Academy?

Masuno: “This season has literally been so surreal for both my team and I. We accomplished more than we had ever imagined and hoped for at the start of the season. Although, we didn’t go all the way to the championships, we finally (as Coach would say) ‘put Oxford on the map.'”

What did you learn about yourself this season?

Masuno: “Through competing in this season, I learned that I need to work on my game. Next year, league teams will know and prepare for me, so I need to bring something new that they won’t expect.”

What was the most memorable moment of your freshman year?

Masuno: “My most memorable moment as a freshman was playing in the CIF State game against Mission Prep, the team we lost the CIF semifinal to. Although we didn’t win, we played a great first half and played as a team despite the hostile environment that their crowd provided.”

Your dad is one of your assistant coaches. How special is it to have him on the sidelines and what has been the best advice he has given you?

Masuno: “The best advice he has given to me is to play every game like it’s my last. It makes me want to give 100 percent effort all the time and keeps me focused. It is truly special to have him there as a coach because he pushes me harder than anyone else. Being his daughter, he knows my true potential as a player and wants me to reach that.”

Who was the opposing player you respect the most?

Masuno: “The opposing player I respect the most is Jennifer Laird on Mission Prep, because when her team needs a basket, she always wants the ball. When they need solid defense, she is always there. She leads her team by example and that’s what I want to work towards.”

Oxford Academy wouldn’t have been successful this season without…. (and why?)

Masuno: “We aren’t successful this season without the entire team! Whether it’s the players who are on the court or the ones who cheer and pump us up on the sideline, each and every player contributed to our big success this season. Sophia Chan with her lockdown defense, Mylee Madrazo with her jerky moves, and Angie Gagnon with her big 3s are just a few to be mentioned.”

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

Masuno: “I have four sisters that all play or played basketball! Two of them, Charity and Serenity, are still in high school, but unfortunately don’t attend the same school as me. Growing up, everyone always joked around saying the five of us would make a good team.”

How has the recruiting been going? Which schools have made offers or shown interest in you?

Masuno: “Princeton University wanted to check in with my Coach about me on being a student-athlete. They invited me to their summer camp in New Jersey.”

What should we expect from you and the Patriots next season?

Masuno: “Next season, we will basically have the same team because we are only losing one player. That means we have not only one full year of experience together already, but also the entire upcoming preseason and offseason to improve as a team and individually. Next year, you should be on the lookout for the Patriots on their way to the CIF championships! (hopefully)”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Masuno: “Hopefully, I’ll still be playing basketball. But if not, I’ll be in medical school!”

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