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Austin Maurer, 7-foot, 4-star recruit for 3A Cascade Christian, has no trouble on the big stage in LSI debut

“Since eighth grade, every Christmas we’ve been watching these games. It’s been a dream of mine to come here.”
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HILLSBORO — Austin Maurer entered the spring 2020 COVID-19 lockdown as a promising 6-foot-4 eighth-grader. 

When restrictions began to lift two months later, Maurer was suddenly a 6-9 basketball prodigy. 

“It was definitely a little weird at first,” said Maurer, an ESPN four-star recruit who is 247Sports’ No. 1 senior prospect in Oregon. The 7-foot Cascade Christian big man signed with Grand Canyon last month over several other suitors, including BYU, New Mexico, Oregon State and Washington State. 

“Because it was during lockdown we weren’t really doing anything, so when I came back to playing basketball I was not used to my body. The five extra inches felt weird. The last three inches came a little more gradually through the years.”

Maurer, who had 28 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday against Central Catholic in his Les Schwab Invitational debut, competed in three sports while growing up in Southern Oregon. His dad, Marty Maurer, is a former multi-sport standout for the Challengers who played college football at Oregon State from 1997-2000.

“I fell in love with basketball even before I grew tall,” Maurer said. “I fell in love just playing it all my years, and then I grew during COVID.”

Maurer was voted Class 3A player of the year in 2022 and averaged 18 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.8 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game during his junior regular season despite missing a month with an elbow injury. He returned in time for the postseason and put up 20.7 points and 13 rebounds per game at the state tournament, leading the Challengers to a second consecutive title.

Central Catholic Cascade Christian boys basketball Les Schwab Invitational December 26 2023 Leon Neuschwander 46

Maurer said he chose Grand Canyon because “it just felt like home.” 

“It felt like the easiest place for me and the place I could be the best version of myself,” he added.

After becoming a national prospect, Maurer said he never considered transferring to a bigger school. Longtime Cascade Christian head coach Brian Morse also coached Marty in basketball.

“Brian Morse is like a second dad to me,” Maurer said. “I’ve known him forever, and (Cascade Christian) is just my place.”

With prospects such as Maurer and freshman guard Avery Huston, Cascade Christian scored invitations to this year’s Capitol City Classic and LSI. The Challengers went 1-3 in Salem with three competitive losses and faced arguably the top team in Oregon — Central Catholic — to open the LSI.

Maurer said playing in the LSI is a dream come true. 

“Since eighth grade, every Christmas we’ve been watching these games,” he said. “It’s been a dream of mine to come here, and we want to win as many games as possible and get the most out of this opportunity.”

Vote: Who was the top boys basketball star on Day 1 of the Les Schwab Invitational?