One of Washington’s top scorers last basketball season officially enrolled at Zillah just hours before attending his first football practice on Wednesday.
Mason Landdeck will be attending his third school in three years after averaging 31 points per game at Cashmere as a sophomore. The junior guard played his freshman season at Kittitas, where he started for the Coyotes Class 2B title team led by Gonzaga freshman Brock Ravet.
He also played wide receiver and safety for the Bulldogs last fall, then focused on AAU basketball in the spring. Landdeck’s father works in construction around the state and his mother works at home for a Seattle-based company, so the family decided Zillah would be the best fit for Mason and his brother Trey, who will be an eighth-grader.
“We sat down and talked,” Landdeck said. “For us as a family it was the best opportunity for me and my brother, academic and sports-wise.”
Zillah coach Mario Mengarelli said he didn’t talk with Landdeck or know for sure about the transfer until Wednesday, although he’d heard the rumors since Landdeck posted about the move on Twitter more than two weeks ago. The 6-foot-1 guard should fit in well for a team that lost all three backcourt starters from the team that won its second 1A championship in three years last March.
Along the way, the Leopards beat Cashmere 84-56 in a regional matchup. Landdeck also lost to Zillah as a freshman, when Kittitas fell 72-56 in its only loss of the season at the SunDome Shootout.
He’s looking forward to joining a winning tradition and understands his role will change with talented returners such as Weston Ide, Sebastian Godina and Claysen Delp. Mengarelli said Landdeck brings a little bit of everything for Zillah and he’s hoping Landdeck won’t just move on again after one season.
“It’s a challenge for me,” Mengarelli said. “I take it personally. I want him to have two great years at Zillah.”
For his part, Landdeck said he’s prepared to be less of a scorer if it helps the team and do whatever the Leopards need him to do both on the basketball court and on the football field. Landdeck played wide receiver and safety at Cashmere, but he’s not sure where he’ll fit into coach Ron Rood’s system.