Frank Mason has experienced a lot since playing his last college basketball game for Kansas on March 25.
The 23-year-old point guard …
▪ attended a batch of national player of the year banquets.
▪ walked down Campanile Hill in graduation ceremonies at KU.
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▪ performed well and interviewed well at the NBA Draft Combine for pro prospects.
▪ fared well in more than 10 individual workouts for NBA teams held all over the country.
▪ was selected as the fourth pick in the second round of the June 22 Draft by Sacramento.
▪ signed a two-year guaranteed contract with the Kings, the team holding an option on a third year.
▪ threw out the first pitch at a Royals game and a minor league game in his home state of Virginia.
▪ justified his draft status by playing well for the Kings in the Las Vegas Summer League.
“I’m not tired at all. Never stop grinding,” the 5-foot-11 (he’s now listed as 6 feet by the Kings) Mason said Monday in a phone interview with The Star conducted in advance of his return to the Sunflower State for three one-day Frank Mason Basketball Camps for youths.
The camps for boys and girls kindergarten through 12th grade are: Thursday at Olathe Community Center, Friday at Lawrence High School and Saturday at Wichita Hoops in Bel Air, Kan. He also will hold a camp Aug. 5 in Sacramento, Calif.
Details are available at Frankmasonbasketball.com
“This is something I’ve dreamed about as a basketball player. I’m just excited to give the youth everything I’ve learned at a young age and learned growing up as a player,” Mason said. He also will conduct three VIP dinners with fans this week, details available at his camp’s website.
“Hanging around the kids and coaching them up will definitely prepare me for my future coaching career if I decide to do that,” Mason added.
Mason coincidentally will be in the area as the 2017-18 Jayhawks step up preparation for their upcoming four-game exhibition tour in Italy. KU will hold its final four (of 10) practices this week.
“I’ve been thinking about it. I want to,” Mason said of working out with the current KU squad. “I talked to Coach (Bill) Self, actually. I saw Coach here in Richmond, Va., at an AAU Tournament and hung out with him yesterday (Sunday). We had a good conversation (with) me asking him about the team and how everybody is doing.”
Mason — who said he’s almost 100 percent healed from an ankle sprain he suffered in Las Vegas — will likely settle on “doing individual workouts with them (Jayhawks) when the guards and bigs split up. As far as competing with them, I’ll probably stay out of that.”
Rush hasn’t signed yet
Former KU wing Brandon Rush has yet to sign an NBA contract for the 2017-18 season. Rush, 32, is a free agent after completing a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He has played for four teams in his nine-year NBA career: Minnesota, Golden State, Utah and Indiana.
There are rumors that the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Indiana Pacers have shown interest in the 6-foot-6 Kansas City native who averaged 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 47 games for the Timberwolves a year ago. He started 33 games and averaged 21.9 minutes per contest.
Lucas to play pro ball in Japan
Former Kansas forward Landen Lucas will begin his pro basketball career playing in Japan, Lucas’ mom, Shelley, announced Monday in her blog at sidelinesportsmom.com. More details will come later in the week regarding the team he will play for in the Japan Basketball League.
“Having spent many of his ‘growing up’ years in Japan (where his dad played pro ball), Landen considers it his second home and is very excited to live there once again during the upcoming basketball season,” Shelley Lucas wrote.
“Signing this guaranteed contract with the JBL gives Landen an opportunity to continue pursuing a career in the NBA, while playing in Japan, applying for his Japanese passport, and potentially playing on the national team in the 2020 Olympics!” Shelley Lucas added in her blog. “Although the team has given him a three-year guarantee, he has an NBA out and will likely play in the summer league again in 2018. Of course being an NBA player can only benefit the JBL and their National team, so they are very supportive of that pursuit as well.”
The 6-foot-10 Lucas, who was born in Tokyo, recently played for the Boston Celtics in the Las Vegas summer league.
Svi scores plenty at European Championships
KU senior guard Svi Mykhailiuk has become the first player from Ukraine to lead the Under 20 European Championship in scoring. The 6-8 Mykhailiuk scored 143 points in seven games at the tournament, which concluded Sunday in Crete. That’s 23 points more than Lithuania’s Martynas Echodas. Laurynas Birutis of Lithuania and Omer Yurtseven of Turkey scored 119 points apiece.
Mykhailiuk’s 20.4 points per game topped runner-up Milos Popovic of Montenegro, who averaged 18.4 points a game.
None of the U20 players will compete for Ukraine’s national team at the Eurobasket 2017 Championships in Israel, Team Ukraine coach Maxim Michelson said on Ukraine’s official basketball website. He did say he believes Svi one day will be a member of the national team.
Mykhailiuk spoke to ESPN.com about his play at the European Championships. “I’m a leader so I’ve got to do a little bit of everything,” he said. “Every time I get the ball I’m trying to score, trying to be aggressive, trying to involve my team in the offense, just trying to create all the time. … Just kill — kill every possession. I’m trying to kill with a pass or a shot or a rebound.”
He added: “Here I’m showing what I can do. I’m trying to do it next year at Kansas. I’m going to be a senior. I’ve been in the program three years. I think Coach (Self) trusts me. I trust him and showing what I can do here is letting him know what I can do in Kansas, too.”
Bagley completes Duke visit
Marvin Bagley, the No. 1 prospect in the recruiting class of 2018, who is considering reclassifying and playing this season, completed his campus visit to Duke on Sunday, CBSsports.com reported.
The website reported that Bagley, a 6-10 senior forward from Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, Calif., is expected to visit USC later this week and Arizona next week. KU, UCLA and Kentucky are also on his list.
“So where does that leave us? Well, it leaves us speculating and guessing,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “That Duke got a first visit is probably something that they are happy with, but the Blue Devils probably also hoped to get a commitment from Bagley before he took any other visits. As has been the case for a while, most information on Bagley is only available through the recruiting circuit rumor mill so that makes it murky at best. So for now, best course of action is to expect for visits to Arizona and USC to take place and for a 2017 v. 2018 decision to take place once visits have been finished.”