PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The WPIAL basketball playoffs begin tomorrow and one of the teams in action will be Highlands High School, which boasts Micah Mason, one of the top scorers in WPIAL history.
Just last week Mason broke TJ McConnell’s record for career three-pointers and there have been recent stories of the insane workouts Mason was putting himself through up at Highlands.
Mason admitted that his workouts are pretty tough. They are put together by Mason and his father and consist of 30 to 45 minutes of nothing but dribbling and shooting.
At one recent practice, after about 125 shots, Mason had missed only 12 times. He also does sprints while dribbling two balls at once, throwing in behind the back crossovers.
“It’s incredible,” said Mason’s head coach Shawn Bennis. “It gets better every time he steps on the court. He’s been doing it since he was four or five years old.”
Actually, Mason said, it was a bit earlier.
“When I was two my dad had miniature balls, and I was dribbling two balls around in my diaper,” he explained.
Mason began performing halftime shows of dribbling exhibitions at local games.
“I think close to second or third grade I started playing with sixth graders on the sixth grade travel team,” he said. “I think we only lost like two games in three years.”
Along the way, Mason has never stopped shooting.
“I think one summer I shot close to 46,000 shots,” Mason said with a chuckle.
He said he does it just to get better.
His hard work has paid off. Mason just wrapped up his second straight WPIAL scoring title and will play next year at Drake University.
“It’s surprising,” he said, “but at the same time I practice hard for this.”
What may be even more surprising is that Mason was able to play basketball at all. He has gone through three hip surgeries, a torn meniscus, and last summer lost 30 pounds while suffering from POTS syndrome, a heart condition that nearly ended his basketball career.
“It was horrible,” he recalled. “At first I wasn’t allowed to walk. Then I could walk a mile. Then I could ride slowly on a bike. Then it let up. It was a good day when I was cleared to play.”
“For him to do what he’s done this year with what he’s overcome is a tremendous accomplishment for anybody,” said Bennis.
Mason said he is just thankful he can get back on the court.
And he has rarely left it since.