Photo courtesy of Johnnie Photography.
By David Cordova
A lot of people overlook the suburbs north of New York City, but there is one town that holds a lot of weight in hoops circles.
For many years, the city of Mount Vernon, New York, has been a hotbed for good basketball. Although the town is four square miles long, there has been a lot of talent that have come out of the city.
The haven for talent is at the legendary Mount Vernon High School, where there have been plenty of Knights alums that have made it to bigger stages. The program has earned 33 sectional titles, 11 New York state public high school titles and five New York State Federation titles.
Players who have come out of Mount Vernon High are NBA players such as Earl Tatum (Marquette University), Gus Williams (University of South Carolina), Ray Williams (University of Minnesota), Rodney McCray (University of Louisville), Scooter McCray (University of Louisville), Lowes Moore (West Virginia University) and Ben Gordon (University of Connecticut).
The next up-and-coming Knight is none other than 6-foot-2 senior guard Jason Douglas-Stanley, who is a very athletic guard that can score and also play above the rim.
When asked what motivates him to be successful in the game of basketball, he replied, “Just working hard every time, I just want to go out there and be the best I can be and put all my effort out on the court.”
On being from such a small city like Mount Vernon, he replied, “It’s amazing, it’s a small town, four square miles, but I think a lot of people know about us, ’cause we have a great basketball reputation and I just like putting on for my city.”
Douglas-Stanley started playing varsity basketball for the Knights as a freshman and has been a mainstay ever since. In his time at Mount Vernon High, the Knights have compiled a record of 75-19 with three sectional titles and one NYPHSAA state title in his junior season.
When asked what it was like being a part of a storied program and playing for long-time head coach Bob Cimmino, he replied, “It’s amazing, as you know, he got his 500th win this year, and it’s just amazing. Mount Vernon basketball, it’s a legacy, everybody asks me every day when I was playing for the team, ‘what’s the legacy like?’ I left there with three Gold balls, a state championship, leading scorer of the games, so I want to make it known that I’m a Mount Vernon Knight.”
Douglas-Stanley’s strengths is that he shoots the ball well, and goes off the dribble well to score, and holds a lot of athleticism. But he does plan on being a combo guard, just in case he has to show off his skill at the point guard position at the next level. “I’m still an undersized two-guard, so playing more of the one, as you see, I’m bringing the ball up more, my passing is getting better, as I’ve been told, and keeping my dribble right.”
Last summer, Douglas-Stanley played on the famed Riverside Church Hawks AAU program on the Adidas Uprising Silver circuit, where he went from a hidden gem to suddenly a player with 13 collegiate scholarship offers.
When asked what the experience with the Hawks was like, he replied, “Riverside is a great program, Coach Tony [Hargraves], that’s my main man, and Coach Al, it’s different, because I switched over from the Rens, and it’s a different feel, but Coach Tony, he gave me the reins to lead this team and that’s exactly what I did. I think I helped the program out a little bit by bringing them to South Carolina.”
Back in the fall, he decided on a final list of three schools such as Drexel, Manhattan and George Mason. But on October 19th, he chose George Mason as his college choice and next season, he will be competing in the Atlantic-10 Conference for the Patriots. And what makes it more interesting, George Mason has another Mount Vernon alumnus in forward Greg Calixte, who just finished his freshman year with the Patriots.
“I believe I’m bringing a scorer down there. Coach [Dave] Paulsen told me that they need a scorer and somebody that can stretch the floor, and I can do that. The other day, they sent me back my video from the IS8 game, and they was telling me, ‘This is exactly what we need.’ So I’m just trying to go down there and be an impact early and keep it moving.” said Douglas-Stanley about what he intends to bring to George Mason.
This past season, as a senior, he averaged 28.7 points per game, and led the Knights to a 23-3 record and another sectional championship. For his efforts, he was named Section 1’s Mr. Basketball Award winner, the highest honor given to the best player in Westchester County.
Next season, he will be looking to provide energy and scoring for a Patriots squad that went 16-17 last season. However, he will always be remembered as one of the all-time greats at Mount Vernon.
What’s next in the future for Jason Douglas-Stanley? “I got a couple of more games and then I’m out of here, June 23rd, but just stay tuned at George Mason, because I’m going to be there making an impact.”
Highlights of Jason Douglas-Stanley:
Courtesy of NJ Hoop Recruit.
Courtesy of 5D Athletics.
Courtesy of Kevin Devaney, Jr.
Courtesy of Mount Vernon Board of Education.
Courtesy of Basketball Tutor.