October 17, 2016

Forbes ready to roll

Kevin McCarthy
 

Mason Forbes participated a a variety of sports as a youngster but it was basketball that he connected with the most. That's not surprising considering his father and grandfather played in college and professionally plus his older brother and younger sister also currently score, pass and rebound at Folsom High.

photo of Mason Forbes

6-foot-5 Sterling Forbes Sr. played at Pepperdine before moving on to play with the Harlem Globetrotters after a back injury cut short his participation with the Los Angeles Lakers as a 1960 draftee. Measuring 6-foot-7, Sterling "Smooth" Forbes Jr. took to the court at Southwest Texas State before playing in Argentina and as well as the Globetrotters.

Mason Forbes is a 6-foot-8 2018 prospect and currently ranked #3 by NorCalPreps in the 2018 class. What makes him an especially attractive recruit is his offensive and defensive functionality."My best skill is my versatility," he explained. "On offense, I can play inside and outside because I can shoot the three and I can defend against guards and posts." Switching on to a guard in a pick-and-roll situation is actually an advantage for Forbes because of his length. With the term tweener no longer a mildly derogatory term for someone with no set position, his skill set can be employed advantageously. He is also especially good on the offensive boards, having grabbed more rebounds off his team's missed shots than opponent misfires.

Don Manning-Fuimaono, a fixture in the Sacramento basketball scene, provided his analysis of Forbes. "What stands out with Mason is his doing things other players don't want to do. He boxes out on every possession and crashes the boards, sets fundamentally sound picks and he chases people down for blocked shots. He can dominate without even taking a dribble. It's not even having a motor with Mason, it's a willpower. He keeps coming and coming, he doesn't stop. Plus, he has a very high IQ and, more importantly, he's a winner."

Asked what he is working on to improve, Forbes said, "improving my ball handling and getting stronger."

Another change is "I'm taking a leadership role this year. We're losing four starters so I have to pass on everything they taught me. At first, I wasn't very verbal because it was early and I was learning." Forbes played on varsity as a freshman, demonstrating an understanding that learning lessons from his stronger and more experienced elders would be more beneficial for his development than dominating on the freshman or junior varsity squads.

Forbes provided a second demonstration of his preternatural maturity when asked to describe his best basketball moment. He replied, "it was definitely as a freshman when we won the section championship. I was the only freshman on the team and learned a lot from the seniors."

Folsom High finished at 27-5 overall, 11-1 in the Sierra Foothill League but four of the top five scorers for the Bulldogs are now playing college basketball. Enter Mason Forbes.

Sporting a 3.83 cumulative grade point average -- "school comes before basketball" -- Forbes is looking for "the right fit collegiately. A coaching staff invested in me is important plus hanging with the team being enjoyable."