SANTA ANA, Calif. – Dylan Andrews, who is a junior point guard at Windward, was born to play basketball and you tell by the way that he handles the court.
What You Need To Know
- Dylan Andrews is one of several Compton Magic players with scholarship offers to both USC and UCLA
- The Magic legacy is represented heavily at both SoCal powerhouses, with seven alumni and two former coaches
- When USC takes on UCLA on Saturday it will be for bragging rights, along with first place in the Pac-12 Conference
- Compton Magic players like Evan Mobley and Johnny Juzang have helped to lead the resurgence of Bruin and Trojan men's basketball
If one is to go back to his early playing days, Andrews said that was not always the case.
“My first game, I did not know how to play basketball," he said with a laugh. "[My] Parents were looking at me like I don’t know if this is his sport.”
A decade later and Andrews has become one of the top-ranked high school prospects in the state. Currently, he has offers from almost every Pac-12 school, along with others like Louisville and Kansas. While he has grown tremendously on the basketball circuit at the national level, it has always been important to the junior to take pride in where he came from.
“Coming from Gardena where I come from, you can’t take anything for granted," Andrews said. “I just want to put the city on my back and give back.”
He is hoping to do so as a player at Windward, through his brand Mud City, and beyond in his place with Compton Magic — an Amatuer Athletic Union team that boasts some of the best California basketball talent.
“Compton Magic, it’s not just a program, it’s a family," he explained. "It’s a lifestyle, not a brand. Coming to Compton Magic was probably the best thing that could happen to me.”
The Magic Boys – as they are aptly named – are led by Etop Udo-Ema, whose relationships with college coaches like Mick Cronin, Rod Palmer, and Eric Mobley have created a strong pipeline of Magic players to hometown schools including the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. In fact, when the Bruins and Trojans take the court Saturday it will be somewhat of a Compton Magic all-star game.
“It’s crazy because it’s awesome when your kids play for top programs and play at home. It’s great for the families, it’s great for all of us," Udo-Ema said.
Johnny Juzang, Jaylen Clark, Jalen Hill, Jules Bernard, Evan Mobley, Isaiah Mobley, and Reece Waters are all Compton Magic alumni who now wear either a USC or UCLA jersey. All of them have played a huge role in the resurgence of the schools' men’s basketball programs as a whole.
On Saturday, the rivalry game will be for first place in the Pac-12.
“UCLA is in first and USC is in second. We got four guys on each team," Udo-Ema said. "It’s crazy that the Pac-12 Championship will probably come through L.A. The magic boys have a big part in that so we’re excited.”
The game on Saturday will also serve as an example and an inspiration for current Magic players like Andrews who are eager to be the next in line.
“Because you grow up with the kids, seeing that they're making it, that they’ve achieved their goals is motivating," he said. "Like wow, I can make it too. I can see myself there, that’s the goal.”
Because to him and many of his teammates, there is something special about playing for your city, your hometown.
“Going to UCLA or USC, that’s home," he said. "It would be good to put the city on my back.”
Compton Magic has created a legacy in Southern California — one Andrews is eager to help continue.