Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year: Jared McCain of Corona Centennial

Josh Giles has coached the Centenary Huskies for two decades. The boys’ basketball coach has never seen someone become so great as Jared McCain.

A couple falls in, a few hundred year old players staying at Giles’ house before an early morning flight. Giles remembered everyone joking about his son’s Xbox. But at 10 p.m., McCain sneaks into a bedroom to follow his nightly routine: yoga. Creature of habit.

Giles said, “It doesn’t matter where he is, what he’s doing, what he needs to do to be ready to be the best, it comes first.” “Everything else comes second.”

This is the side most don’t see – even after amassing close to two million followers on TikTok, even through zero deals made from his game and Hollywood. Through a smile she was born for, McCain’s approach to her craft has never changed. The Duke-bound McCain was named The Times’ Boys Basketball Player of the Year after leading the Huskies to their third consecutive Southern Section Open Division championship.

He earned the award by averaging 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists a game, his Giles-lauded work ethic on full display while expanding an all-around game and guiding the Huskies to a three-peat.

His methods, beyond his time in the gym, are unorthodox for a high schooler. Before the Centennial’s opening round game of Southern Section pool play, McCain was doing tai chi before a 22-point performance to lead the Huskies to Chatsworth at Sierra Canyon.

Giles said, he is fond of reading. If he stumbles upon a Michael Jordan or Tom Brady exercise and finds it interesting, he’ll incorporate it into his routine. Self without hesitation

“The pressure will always be there,” McCain said in the fall of his newfound fame. “You just have to do it as little as you can by trusting your work. I think the work I put in shows, and that’s what I really had to lock down in my mind.

This is reflected in the course of a dazzling career at Centennial.

McCain was primarily known as a shooter, Giles said, when he first arrived at Centennial as a spindly freshman. But he dominated his senior year in every aspect of the game — snaking down rebounds, controlling the pace in the pick-and-roll game, drawing free throws to slow down the pace.

“He’s one of those guys you never bet against,” Giles said.

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