Hayden Curtiss has come a long way in his four years of high school. And he's showing no signs of stopping.
Mount Si's 6-foot-9 senior center received an offer from the University of Portland, as announced Tuesday, in the wake of Mount Si's 4A state championship run, marking the first Division I offer for a player that his coaches say is only getting better — fast.
Curtiss' emergence as a presence down low was a key factor in the Wildcats postseason run. He averaged 13.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and posted seven double-doubles in his last 13 games, and hit 20 of 22 shot attempts in the 4A state tournament.
That's in part because of how he's grown physically. Curtiss came into the program as a 6-foot-2 freshman and was the 10th man on the school's c-team.
He hardly played as a junior as the Wildcats made a run to the 4A championship game. As a senior, Curtiss was called upon to fill a bigger role in the front court.
At a holiday tournament in California in December, Mount Si went 3-1, including a win over Mayfair. Curtiss said winning down there against out-of-state competition helped him realize his own potential.
"I was thinking hey, if I can play that well against teams like Mayfair, I can come back and dominate here and that's what I did," Curtiss told Scorebook Live on March 7.
"Practice was the biggest thing, working in practice, getting comfortable with the guys, the plays, it really felt good to take on more minutes this year."
Mount Si head coach Jason Giffith says Curtiss' best basketball is in front of him.
In Curtiss, Portland coach Terry Porter likely sees a long rebounder and shot-blocker (he has a 7-foot wing span) who is still growing. The Oregonian reported Tuesday that Portland decided to bring Porter back as its head coach for the final year of his contract after he was rumored to be on the hot seat. Portland is 37-92 under the former Portland Trail Blazer standout.
Here is an interview with Curtiss from March 7, after Mount Si's 4A state championship win over Central Valley: