Alton Mason enjoyed standout basketball careers both at Arizona State University and professionally in Europe. Now he's the new assistant men's basketball coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
A 1996 graduate of Northeast High School in Lincoln, Neb., Mason started his collegiate career at Barton County Community College where he led the Cougars to a 29-4 record and Jayhawk Conference championship. A first team All-Jayhawk Conference pick, Mason recorded a Barton-record 8.3 assists per game and led the conference in assists, steals (109), shooting percentage from the field in conference games (53 percent) and assist-to-turnover ratio.
The starting point guard at Arizona State for three seasons, Mason finished his career sixth on the ASU career steals chart with 153 and 10th in assists with 312. As a senior, he ranked ninth in the Pac 10 in scoring in conference games with 15.3 points a game and finished the season averaging 13.4 points, 3.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals. As a sophomore, Mason led the Sun Devils with 4.1 assists per game while averaging 8.5 points and 2.1 steals and then led Arizona State to a 19-13 record his junior season, averaging 6.2 points and 2.8 assists.
Following his collegiate career, Mason played 12 years professionally in Europe including four years in Belgium, two in the Netherlands and various one-year stints in Greece, Turkey, Finland, Latvia, Israel and a half-season in Mexico. The pinnacle of his professional career came in Belgium where he played on a championship team and his second son was born. "Playing overseas gave me a chance to see the world and see some exciting places," said Mason. "It also gave me a chance to grow as a player and person and to meet and learn from a lot of coaches. I learned a lot about the more relaxed European lifestyles and loved the school systems where my kids were enrolled."
Mason spent last year as an assistant coach at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Gilbert, Ariz. "I really appreciate Coach (Kelley) Newton giving me this opportunity," said Mason. "Having played in the Jayhawk I am familiar what an outstanding conference it is."
"We are excited about Alton being here," says Newton. "Not only does he offer playing experience to our players and tons of basketball knowledge to our program, he has great basketball connections that will help him to recruit as well."
Married, Mason and his wife, Anita, have two sons, Alton Jr., who is studying in a Performing Arts School in Los Angeles; and Alston; and two daughters, Ania and Aniah.