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Column: Sedrick Altman, Onyeka Okongwu among players to watch at state basketball championships

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High-flying Sedrick Altman of Colony is one of the players to watch at the state championships in Sacramento. He’s averaging 28 points a game.
(Nick Koza / For The Times)

Golden 1 Center, which has a seating capacity of 19,000 and is the home of the Sacramento Kings, is the site for 12 CIF state championship basketball games Friday and Saturday.

All the games will be televised by Spectrum. It’s a dream come true for many players wanting the chance to play in an NBA arena.

Here’s your guide of players to watch this weekend:

Sedrick Altman, Ontario Colony: Averaging 28.0 points, the 6-foot-3 senior committed to Pepperdine, which had its entire coaching staff at Tuesday’s Division II regional final in which Altman scored 34 points.

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“He’s finally getting the recognition he deserves,” coach Jerry De Fabiis said. “He just has a motor a lot of kids don’t have. He works on his game relentlessly.”

Onyeka Okongwu, Chino Hills: The 6-9 senior bound for USC is trying to win a third state title in four years. He started as a freshman on Chino Hills’ 35-0 team. While the three Ball brothers from that team are gone, Okongwu stayed and became a hometown hero. He’s a standout rebounder, shot blocker and inside scorer.

Chino Hills has rallied from double-digit deficits in its last three games to advance to the Division I final. Okongwu made the game-winning free throws in the regional final. He’s also good for a couple spectacular dunks.

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“It’s pretty amazing,” coach Dennis Latimore said. “He’s bringing something different and unique each game.”

Cassius Stanley, Chatsworth Sierra Canyon: For the last month, Stanley has elevated his game to another level. He’s making three-pointers, distributing the ball to teammates and playing tough defense. He leads the Open Division favorites with a 17.8 scoring average. He’s narrowed his college choices to UCLA, Oregon and Kansas.

“His evolution over the last month has been amazing,” coach Andre Chevalier said.

KJ Martin, Sierra Canyon: After scoring 30 points by making 14 of 15 shots against Santa Ana Mater Dei in the Open Division regional final, Martin deserves everyone’s attention. He has become a force inside by rebounding and delivering lots of dunks.

Marcus Bagley, Sacramento Sheldon: Bagley played for Sierra Canyon as a freshman when his brother, Marvin, now a rookie with the Sacramento Kings, also played for the Trailblazers. He has grown to a 6-8 junior and knows many of the Sierra Canyon players he will face in the Open Division final.

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Tyler Powell, Ribet Academy: The 6-5 sophomore has the size to score close to the basket but he has displayed a fondness for making three-pointers in helping Ribet reach the Division IV championship game. He had 23 points in the regional finals. “He can get hot from three range,’’ coach Reggie Howard said.

Ryan Langborg, La Jolla Country Day: The 6-4 senior is headed to Princeton and known for his three-point shooting. He scored 20 points in the Division III regional final.

Ashley Chevalier, Sierra Canyon: Only a junior and committed to Texas, Chevalier is an aggressive point guard on offense and defense. Her enthusiasm is contagious and energizes her teammates. She’ll play in the Open Division girls’ final, making it difficult on her father, Andre, who coaches in the boys’ final immediately after. “It’s harder for me to sit and watch her than actually coach,” he said.

Hannah Jump, Los Altos Hills Pinewood: The 5-11 senior is headed to Stanford and averages 17.3 points and 6.0 rebounds. She’s a veteran playing at Golden 1 Center and proficient from three-point range.

Savannah Felix, Fullerton Rosary: A 6-foot center, Felix had 18 points and 14 rebounds in Rosary’s Division I regional final win over La Jolla Country Day.

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eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: @latsondheimer


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