Never mind if acquaintances Josh Mason hasn’t seen in a year or two notice his growth spurt. They all do. What’s more telling is even passersby he sees often constantly take note how much taller he has become.
“About everyone I see, that’s the first thing they talk about,” the Nixa junior point guard said.
Mason hasn’t enjoyed one growth spurt since entering high school, he considers himself lucky enough to have had two. He grew from 5-foot-6 as a freshman to 5-9 as a sophomore and checked in at 6-1 this year as a junior.
Mason doesn’t have to be a pass-first point guard any more. He can look for and create his own shot.
“I can shoot over and score on a lot of defenders I couldn’t shoot over before,” he said. “I’m able to attack the rim with confidence and have confidence in my shot. Also, I can pass around people and over them. It’s a lot easier offensively and defensively for me now.
“Longer arms help me a lot on steals, tips and blocks, whatever I need to do.”
Mason has also grown into a top contender for Nixa’s starting point guard job. Coach Jay Osborne has also noticed how easier things are for Mason.
“He’s able to get shots off over some people. He can see the floor better and his ball-handling has gotten better,” Osborne said. “Give him a little steak and potatoes and he’d be even better.”
Mason has handled the growth spurts well in regard to maintaining his coordination.
“Being in the gym everyday has helped me, so I wouldn’t have any lack of coordination,” he said. “You’ve got to keep working on drills.”
He has endured some growing pains.
“I’ve had some back and hip pain,” Mason said. “ I’ve had to get through that. It’s tough, but getting better.”
And, of course, Mason practically has had to get a whole new wardrobe.
“Just last week I had to go pants shopping,” he said. “My old pants don’t fit.”
As a mighty mite, Mason was optimistic a growth spurt was forthcoming. He has relatives who are much taller than average. By the way, the average height for a man is 5-9.
“My parents were kind of worried about me because everyone else was maturing earlier than I was,” Mason said. “But they knew I would grow. My Dad says, ‘The longer you wait to grow, the longer you will grow.’
“I have some tall cousins on my Mom’s side. They are 6-foot-5. So, hopefully I can keep going.”