With Bagley and Nguyen leading the charge as a ferocious 1-2 punch, Sheldon High School emerged as the top basketball team in Northern California, a path that led to the final game of the season in the highest classification in the state.
Bagley and Nguyen are The Bee’s co-Players of the Year for 2018-19 for their myriad skills and for leading a team that went 28-7 on the court.
“We don’t get as far as we did without those two,” Sheldon coach Joey Rollings said. “They were great for us.”
They are also good students and campus leaders.
Bagley is a national recruit as a 6-foot-8 guard. He’s a junior who can shoot, dribble, dunk, defend and dazzle.
He averaged 19.9 points and 7.9 rebounds and added to what was already the top team in Northern California when his family moved to the area. Bagley’s brother, Marvin Bagley III, is a standout rookie with the Kings.
Nguyen is an unsung and unflappable senior guard, a dynamo with the dribble, pass and 3-point shot, and a tenacious defender at 5-10. Nguyen isn’t sure where he’ll attend college, but he plans to keep playing, and to major in business.
He averaged 10.0 points and 3.3 assists, but his impact went beyond statistics. He led Sheldon in scoring in some dramatic playoff games as the Huskies won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship and the prestigious CIF NorCal Open Division title for the second successive season.
Nguyen also earned the CIF Sportsmanship Award after the section, NorCal and CIF State title games. And he was presented the annual Pete Saco Award by the Kings and the Kings Foundation as the area’s top senior player for his achievements and sportsmanship, which included being recognized during the March 21 Kings game at Golden 1 Center.
Sheldon High School's Marcus Bagley shares the title of 2019 boys basketball Player of the Year with teammate Justin Nguyen.
“He’s the perfect point guard,” Bagley said of Nguyen. “He set everyone up and made us better.”
Nguyen said of his game, “I like getting people involved. I wanted to do something this season for people to remember me by. I know some see my size and wonder if I can play, but I just do what I can do.”
Bagley is a 4-star recruit with all the makings of becoming a 5-star recruit as a senior. He’s as relentless of a worker as he is a talent.
“I want to be as versatile as I can, to do anything I can to help us win,” Bagley said. “I try to play all over. I wasn’t always the best athlete but I got better, and I worked hard.
“That’s the difference between a good player and a great player — how hard you work. I want to be great.”
Bagley has serious recruiting interest from programs across the country, including Arizona State and UCLA. He wants to commit to a college before the academic year is out.
He said he felt welcomed at Sheldon. His skills and easy-going personality certainly helped.
“Sheldon made me feel at home,” Bagley said. “I want to be here. I want to leave a legacy.”
Said Nguyen of Bagley, “He’s a great player, versatile. He can do it all. Best player I’ve ever played with.”
The Sacramento Bee 2018-19 All-Metro Teams
Players of the Year:
G Marcus Bagley, Sheldon, Jr.
G Justin Nguyen, Sheldon, Sr.
Coach of the Year:
Steve Taylor, Rocklin
G Leland Estacio, Franklin, Sr.
G Jack Jones, Jesuit, Sr.
C DeShawn Lynch, Folsom, Jr.
G Jalen Patterson, Liberty Ranch, Jr.
F Steven Richardson, Grant, Sr.
G Kaito Williams, Sheldon, Sr.
G Levelle Bailey, Burbank, Sr.
G Xavion Brown, Sheldon, Jr.
G Xavier Brown, Sheldon, Jr.
F Drake Middleton, Oak Ridge, Sr.
G Isa Silva, Jesuit, So.
G Izayah Talmadge, Sacramento, Sr.
G Andre Crump, Monterey Trail, Sr.
G Ty Burrell, Antelope, Sr.
G Preston Hall, Capital Christian, Sr.
G Darrius Kendall, Rocklin, Jr.
C Krei Kyncy, Bella Vista, Sr.
G Jake Paxton, Rio Americano, Sr.
G Corey Yerger, Grant, So.
G Tiler Fears, Folsom, Jr.
C Bryce Fitzgerald, Monterey Trail, Sr.
G Cory Gohl, Rocklin, Sr.
F DeeJuan Pruitt, Grant, Sr.
G Khalil Stewart, Burbank, Sr.
G Josh Williams, Sheldon, Jr.
G Breckin Beaman, Sac Adventist, So.
F Sam Daly, Jesuit, Sr.
G Miles Lewis, Sacramento, Jr.
G Isaac Padilla, Liberty Ranch, Jr.
F Jalen Scott, Folsom, Sr.
G Michael Wortham, Center, Jr.
Cameron Anthony, Mira Loma; Puneet Bains, River Valley; Jayden Baroni, Liberty Ranch; Marcus Batis, Pioneer; Isaiah Bolden, Cordova; Elias Bonds, Center; Konner Baroni, Placer; Ameere Britton, Elk Grove; Jacob Brown, Oak Ridge; Jordan Bryant, Del Campo; Eric Chayka, San Juan; Blake Clavelle, Marysville; Bryson Collins, Sacramento Adventist; Jamison Collins, Sacramento Adventist; Dylan Davis, Folsom; Gerald Davis, Highlands; Yaadvir Dhaliwal, Inderkum; Mitchell Dixon, Rio Americano; Aidan Doms, Davis; Tyson Duncan, Sacramento Waldorf; James Eagan, Pioneer; Aidan Falls, Ponderosa; Jake Fink, Whitney; Nathan Flores, Yuba City; Bret Garry, El Camino; William Goebel, Foothill; Jaime Gonzalez, Liberty Ranch; Jan Guardamano, Mira Loma; Anthony Hatfield, Dixon; Elijah Henderson, Ponderosa; Adam Honer, Granite Bay; Maxim Iurco, Mesa Verde; Evan Johnson, Capital Christian; Elijah Jones, Rio Linda; Trey Jones, Capital Christian; Micah Scott-Kelley, Sacramento; Ryan King, Whitney; Carter Krupp, Woodcreek; Jair Lang, West Campus; J.R. Malloy, Forest Lake Christian; Demetrius Marshall, West Campus; Nick McCutcheon, Freedom Christian; Jalen McGlothen, Encina; Cameron Niles, Del Campo; Ethan Nisbit, Oak Ridge; Seve Nocon, Pleasant Grove; David O’Looney, Nevada Union; Christopher Olson, Sacramento Waldorf; Daniel Radu, Mesa Verde; Illyaas Rafic, Marysville; Robert Reed, Golden Sierra; Pierce Rexford, Vista del Lago; Michael Robinson, El Camino; Jonah Roth, Rio Americano; Johnele Sanders, Cordova; Marcus Simms, West Campus; Damion Skelton, Burbank; Jaylen Solich, Roseville; Wyland Spencer, Woodland Christian; Henry Strecker, Rocklin; Dupree Taylor, San Juan; Evan Terry, Rocklin; Skyler Tuttle, Foresthill; Joey Voss, Davis; Jack Welty, Del Oro; Joseph Wood, Rosemont; Drake Williams, Valley Christian Academy; Davion Wright, Franklin.