Stanley Johnson Jr., Santa Ana Mater Dei High's star senior, belongs in any conversation about the Southland's very best high school basketball players. He has played every position, been a force on defense and has won three state championships — and in zeroing in on a possible fourth.
Here is a look at a few other local products who belong in that same conversation:
• Gail Goodrich, Sun Valley Poly: As a senior in 1961, the 5-foot-11 Goodrich led Poly to the City Section championship. In his final game, he suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter, got it taped and returned to finish off a 29-point effort in a win over Manual Arts. Goodrich also won two national championships with UCLA and the 1972 NBA championship as a key contributor on a Lakers team that won a record 33 consecutive games. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.
•Marques Johnson, Los Angeles Crenshaw: The 6-7 Johnson helped launch Crenshaw's domination in City Section basketball. He was the City player of the year in 1973, then the college player of the year in 1977 for UCLA. He was known for his quickness, versatility and intelligence.
•John Williams, Los Angeles Crenshaw: At 6-8 and 235 pounds, Williams was the best player in Los Angeles in 1983 and 1984, when he helped Crenshaw win a state title as a junior, then a City title as a senior. He was MVP in the 1984 McDonald's All-American game, scoring 27 points at Pauley Pavilion. He went on to star at Louisiana State and was a first-round pick in the 1986 NBA draft.
•Paul Westphal, Redondo Beach Aviation: In 1968, the 6-4 Westphal became the first Southern Section player to score more than 1,000 points in a season. He had 1,040 points and was chosen MVP of four tournaments. He also led his team in assists. He went on to become an All-American at USC and five-time NBA All-Star.
•Tracy Murray, Glendora: The 6-7 Murray led the nation with a 44.3 scoring average in 1989, his senior year at Glendora. His three-point shooting was extraordinary. He scored a state-record 3,053 points in his high school career, then played for UCLA and 12 seasons in the NBA.
•Dwayne Polee, Los Angeles Manual Arts: Polee's performance in the 1981 City Section championship game was the stuff of legends. He scored 43 points in Manual Arts' 82-69 victory over Crenshaw in front of more than 14,000 at the Sports Arena. He was 6-6 and could score with the best. He played in college at Nevada Las Vegas and Pepperdine.
For the record: An earlier version of this story said that Gail Goodrich led Poly to the 1962 City Section championship. He led Poly to the title as a senior in 1961.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times