Lassiter’s hard work paying off in the long run 

When Marcio Lassiter talks about what might have been, he doesn’t hesitate to consider the choice he made in attending City College of San Francisco out of high school.

A four-year varsity basketball player at Washington High School, three of which he was All-Academic Athletic Association, Lassiter was set to go to USF on an academic scholarship and walk on to the basketball team.

"No one was recruiting me out of high school. ... I was playing the [power forward] or [center] position," Lassiter said.

He had to play a secondary role to Jeremy Francis, Washington’s all-world point guard who was the AAA MVP during Lassiter’s senior season. In addition, at 6-foot-2, playing power forward at the next level is a reach. However, Lassiter had a skill, which was shooting the ball, and USF, along with the local junior colleges who were looking at him, knew this.

Sacred Heart Cathedral assistant coach Phil Doherty was an assistant coach at USF when the Dons were looking at Lassiter. He recalls a three-hour sitdown with Lassiter talking about basketball and his goals.

"Marcio had an academic scholarship to USF," Doherty said. "I told him we would love to him as a walk-on. But I also asked him and his mother, that at the end of the day, if her son wanted to play basketball in college and he did not make our team, would he stay and be happy going to USF."

After thinking it over, Lassiter decided he wanted to try the junior college route so he could continue playing basketball. After looking over his options, he enrolled at CCSF due to its proximity and the fact the Rams had been recruiting him the hardest.

Lassiter’s early commitment to City College gave him an edge over other players, and this helped him earn a starting spot at CCSF as a freshman last year. He averaged 12 points a game on a team that made it to the Elite Eight and the Final Four of the state tournament. His strong play in the tournament earned Lassiter several collegiate suitors.

"I got a couple of calls and basketball scholarship offers from UC Santa Barbara, Montana State, Cal State Fullerton, Wyoming and other schools," Lassiter said. "But I decided to commit to Cal State Fullerton, because I liked the school, the team and how they play. They like to run and they are guard-orientated, which is one of my strengths."

Lassiter is now in his second season at City College, in good academic standing and on track to graduate and start attending Cal State Fullerton in the summer. However, Lassiter has some unfinished business. He is averaging 14 points a game and hitting key shots for a City College team that is ranked No. 5 in the state with a 22-5 record and a 6-2 record in the Coast Conference North Division entering today’s

7 p.m. game against Las Positas (15-12, 2-7). Lassiter’s play is one of the keys for a very talented team looking to get back to the Final Four and win the state championship.

"Marcio brings consistency for our team," CCSFcoach Justin Labagh said. "He might have a bad shooting game, but he is always ready to play. He has a basketball sense that realizes that shooting is just one part of the game. He is averaging five rebounds a game. He is a complete player and his play will be crucial for us down the stretch the rest of the year."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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