In 1986, before former Wildcat guard Harvey Mason Jr. grew up to be a six-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter and record producer, he was a California high school basketball star.
The three-time All-CIF player at Crescenta Valley High School later chose Arizona and played four years of college basketball under former UA head coach Lute Olson.
A quarter century later, Harvey Mason Jr.’s son Trey, a freshman point guard who came out of another competitive CIF program at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, followed in his father’s footsteps by not only attending and playing for the UA, but deciding to wear the same number as his father.
“It’s such a thrill for me to see Trey run out on the same court that I ran out on and now he’s wearing my number. It makes me cry almost every time I see it. It’s definitely something that I am proud of and cherish,” Harvey Mason Jr. said.
During his time at Arizona, Harvey Mason Jr. played in 116 games between 1986 and 1990 and over the first two years was forced to morph from a scorer into a role player and defensive reserve when Arizona made the Final Four in 1988. Over his final two years playing at Arizona, he matured into a seasoned starter but a knee injury shattered his professional aspirations and made him change his life path to music instead of the NBA.
During his senior year at Loyola, Trey Mason was a three-point scoring threat and compiled a 50 percent field goal percentage with 42 percent accuracy from beyond the arc. He averaged 15.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game over 31 games played, and led his team’s run for the state championship before the squad was defeated in the semifinals.
“He was, if not the best, then one of the best shooters I have ever coached. He’s a hell of a basketball player,” Loyola head coach Jamal Adams said. “He is a diligent, hardworking and very coachable kid. His senior year, he was a captain for us, our leading scorer, and on a lot of nights, with his ability to put the ball in the basket, he carried us. He was as important a cog as we had. Big time player and clutch finisher.”
Adams added that Trey Mason and his dad occasionally went to the school early in the morning to practice, Trey’s dad feeding him shots while observing his technique and advising his son when necessary.
“[At Arizona] I found an appreciation for hard work and for setting really high standards thanks to Coach Olson,” Harvey Mason Jr. said. “He taught me to expect excellence in everything you do and from everybody around you. I hope that is something that I have been able to instill in Trey, but even more so, I hope Coach Miller and the rest of the players that he plays with can contribute to that.”
While Trey Mason wasn’t directly available for comment, he told Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times in an interview this past January that his father had been working with him every day since he was about 12-years-old.
“All the credit is to him for making me the player I am today,” Trey Mason said. “The biggest things he’s instilled in me are my work ethic and my desire to get better [while] teaching me the skills and fundamentals of basketball.”
Trey Mason may not be in the rotation this year, but his father is certain that he has potential to impact this year’s team in some way.
In his first appearance as a Wildcat against Long Beach State, Trey Mason made his father proud by sinking his only shot of the night, a long three-pointer, and subsequently adding a rebound over three minutes in Arizona’s 91-57 victory over the 49ers.
“Trey is a valuable member of our team,” Miller said in the postgame press conference. “I was happy for him. It was nice to see it go in.”
—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17