Mater Dei Basketball standout named OC Register Orange County boys basketball Player of the Year. 

By Jenelyn Russo     6/18/2018

There is no shortage of decorated student athletes to come out of Mater Dei High School, with many former Monarchs having gone on to accomplished careers at both the collegiate and professional levels. That list may well include one of the school’s more unique success stories, basketball player Spencer Freedman. 



The recent graduate made his mark on Mater Dei’s court with a senior year for the ages, including helping to lead the Monarchs to a 2018 Trinity League championship as well as a 2018 CIF-SS Open Division championship. Scoring an average of 17 points a game, Freedman was named Trinity League MVP for the third year in a row, CIF-SS Open Division MVP and OC Register Orange County boys basketball Player of the Year.  

Freedman’s love for hoops can be traced back to his father, who introduced the sport to his son at age four. His joy for playing is rooted in continually striving towards improvement. 

“Basketball has always been something I’ve been really interested in,” says Freedman. “It’s turned into something that I really love, and it’s been a great journey. The real truth is that you can never stop getting better.” 

As a point guard and captain, Freedman operates similarly to a quarterback on the team, where he sees his role as not only keeping his teammates in check, but making sure that players are enjoying the experience. 

“It’s almost like the general of the team,” says the 19-year-old. “There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with it, but that’s part of what makes it so enjoyable.” 

Mater Dei head boys basketball coach, Gary McKnight, is accomplished in his own right and ranks Freedman among the best he’s ever coached, a one of a kind, who has been a delight. 

“Spencer is relentless with his work ethic, and relentless in the classroom,” says McKnight. “He looks you straight in the eye, and is great at communicating, especially with the other players. He has a goal of becoming president of the United States. And I honestly think he could be.” 

Despite receiving multiple college scholarship offers, including several from Pac-12 schools, the Irvine resident chose Harvard University, where Freedman will continue his basketball career and study computer science or economics, taking in all this special opportunity has to offer.  

While he claims to have never been the tallest, fastest or most athletic, Freedman’s commitment to his sport has produced undeniable dividends. 

“It’s really a game of peaks and valleys,” says Freedman. “As long as you’re willing to put the work in and take the time…there’s nothing you can’t do.” 

Freedman’s career so far has produced plenty of role models, but none more influential than his father. 

“He’s everything,” says Freedman. “He truly is someone I look up to in every aspect of life. He’s taught me so many lessons. He’s my biggest supporter. It means so much to me that he believes in me.”