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More than just a game

Former Crescenta Valley High standout Harvey Mason now flourishing in entertainment industry

May 08, 2010|By Charles Rich

When Harvey Mason Jr. went up for a jump shot during a practice, he immediately felt something wrong in his right knee when he landed.

The injury couldn’t have occurred at a worse time. It came when Mason had been at his best during his four-year stint with the star-studded University of Arizona men’s basketball team that had turned the corner and mushroomed into one of the country’s top collegiate programs.

Mason learned he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and the realization of his playing career spiraling downward became clear. Mason wasn’t sure what career path he would venture down because he had excelled playing basketball first at Crescenta Valley High and then at powerful Arizona.

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“I was playing some of my best basketball, then all of a sudden my knee just buckled,” said Mason, one of nine former Falcon standouts who will be inducted into the Crescenta Valley High Athletic Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. today at Angeles National Golf Club in Sunland. “That was during the 1989-90 season.

“There was a lot of sadness and disappointment because I was playing well and we were doing well as a team. Just the timing of it made it tough. The injury changed my focus and luckily I had another talent.”

Basketball suddenly didn’t seem as important as it once did for Mason, a guard who scored 1,834 career points at Crescenta Valley.

Mason averaged four points per game in 115 contests at Arizona under legendary Coach Lute Olson and played alongside teammates and future NBA stars Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott, as well as Major League Baseball All-Star Kenny Lofton.

He played a key role in helping the Wildcats advance to the program’s first Final Four appearance in 1988 and win three Pacific-10 Conference championships.

Fortunately for Mason, who graduated from Crescenta Valley in 1986, he had another talent and a creative mind to carry it out and get him to where he is today as a successful songwriter and producer.

Mason learned some of the key facets surrounding the entertainment business from his father, Harvey, Sr. The elder Mason is an accomplished jazz drummer who has worked with music icons like Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. The younger Mason wrote his first song, “Love Makes It Better,” when he was 8 that was recorded and released by noted saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.

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