Watching Payton Dastrup on the basketball court it’s easy to see why the 6’9, 225-pound forward/center from Mesa Mountain View High School is arguably the most coveted player in a well-stocked 2014 recruiting class.
With an array of moves in the paint and a the ability to step outside and hit mid-range jump shots Dastrup’s game projects well to the next level. Judging from the who’s who list of schools who have shown interest or offered him a scholarship he will have his choice from some of the best in the nation.
“UofA and ASU are coming after me really hard because they’re in-state schools,” Dastrup told Pros2Preps.com after his 15-point, three block performance against top-ranked Mesa Thursday. “Other schools are BYU, Florida, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Ohio State, and Michigan State.”
As if those weren’t enough he also said he has received interest from “a lot, if not all” of the Pac-12 schools.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll realize Dastrup’s interests stretch beyond the basketball court.
“At [Mountain View] I’m in the choir, I sing,” Dastrup explained. “I also play the piano and volleyball in the spring. I like to just relax, hang out with my friends and catch up on sleep when I can.”
On the floor he says he patterns his game after former Houston Rocket and two-time NBA World Champion Hakeem Olajuwon and tries to emulate his quick spins and post-up moves on the block.
With still a year and a half left at Mountain View Dastrup understands the need to continue to polish his game, specifically cutting down on turnovers and kicking the ball out of the post to the Toro guards when defenses collapse on him.
Between hoops and high notes it’s easy to understand how he falls behind on sleep, but the same can be said for opposing coaches trying to stop this skilled big man.