All season, Pasadena Maranatha Coach Tim Tucker has been waiting patiently to see if 6-foot-10 junior center Trevor Stanback would be cleared to join the Minutemen. Stanback had CIF clearance after transferring from Chaminade, but an undisclosed medical issue kept him sidelined and unable to practice.
Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, just hours before Maranatha was scheduled to open the Southern Section 4A playoffs against Milken, Stanback was cleared to play by his doctor. With 5:52 left in the second quarter, Stanback entered the game and received an ovation from Maranatha fans.
Stanback showed his inactivity almost immediately. He stole a pass and was headed for a dunk. But he got called for traveling, his body seemingly not ready to move at the pace he was previously used to. He smiled. He knows he needs a little practice. He played about a minute in the first half and made a free throw.
In the second half, he was much more at ease, getting a three-point play on a hook shot and making a dunk. He finished with six points in about three minutes of action.
“We’ll go slow,” Tucker said. “We’re not going to rush him.”
Said Stanback: “I didn’t care about the mistakes. To be back on the court with the fans and teammates is great.”
Stanback was a starter as a sophomore on Chaminade’s Division III state championship team last season. He was supposed to team with Tyler Dorsey to lead Maranatha to section and state titles. And that still might happen.
Maranatha fans saw what it was supposed to be like in the third quarter when Stanback put down a dunk, followed by Dorsey dunk. If he can get into shape, who knows where the Minutemen might be headed after an 80-33 opening win. Dorsey scored 30 points.
Stanback promised to get into shape fast.
“I’m really going to work out every day and hopefully get back into basketball shape,” he said.