VISTA — Vista High School junior Cyprian Hyde is having a standout season on the court, drawing interest from NCAA schools and scouts, as well as receiving praise from his coaches and teammates.
Hyde, a 6-foot-10-inch 17-year-old from Oceanside now in his third year playing for the Vista High Panthers, currently leads the Coastal Basketball League in both rebounds and blocks and is second in scoring overall. So far this season, Hyde is averaging a double-double a game with 16.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per matchup.
Panthers head coach Anthony Bolton said that Hyde has been an exceptionally physical presence on the court, citing both the junior’s unique talent and athleticism as well as his singular work ethic as contributing to his breakout year.
“He’s a big man that not everyone has on their roster, people have to game plan and look out for him,” Bolton said. “You see him getting triple-doubles out there and people really see the value he brings to our team, he’s just such a huge part of what we’re doing.”
On and off the court, no one on the Panthers has worked harder than Hyde, according to Bolton, emphasizing the tremendous growth and development that he’s seen in the junior compared to previous seasons.
Bolton expressed that as Hyde’s talent and raw abilities have taken off, Hyde has led the locker room in pushing himself and others towards excellence.
— Aaron Burgin (@FullTimeHoops1) December 31, 2021
“He just continues to work and work, making progress and growth towards his development…I always tell him that if he just focuses on the work he’s gotta put in and if he’s inspired and motivated like that, the points and the rebounds will take care of themselves, and he’s very mature in that regard,” Bolton said.
For Hyde, working closely with coaches, communicating better with teammates and stepping up as a leader on the squad have all been pivotal to his success in games.
“I’ve improved a lot this year, dominating with the rebounds and points and I’ve gotten better on defense, I’ve been talking more with the team, and just learning continually,” Hyde told The Coast News said. “I feel like I’ve been stepping up to the challenge, just staying positive and building up teammates more than anything else.”
Both Bolton and Hyde expressed that the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have been difficult for the Panthers squad, but the junior said that he’s been able to look past these challenges and push himself to be the best teammate and player he can possibly be.
When athletic activities have been suspended due to pandemic concerns, Hyde says that he’s met up with coaches and teammates and worked out outside of practice, working towards staying in the best physical shape possible that he can to stay ready for the upcoming season.
“During the shutdowns, I’ve met up with Coach Bolton to lift weights, go running, and just block out the distractions…you can’t focus on the negatives with these situations you have to keep on pushing forward and control what you can control, and for me, that’s staying positive and playing hard,” Hyde said.
Hyde’s hard work has already paid off — he told The Coast News that he’s received interest from numerous NCAA scouts and has already garnered scholarship offers from Eastern Washington and the University of Portland, both Division I NCAA schools. The 17-year-old said that he hopes to develop further as a player in the NCAA after he graduates, and shared that he even has aspirations of playing professionally.
San Diego basketball scout Aaron Burgin (@FullTimeHoops1 on Twitter), who watched a recent matchup in which the Panthers bested Canyon Crest Academy 58-47, expressed that Hyde’s domination on the court could lead to very favorable NCAA considerations for the junior.
“If he continues to give these types of efforts, it won’t be a stretch to call him one of the top big men prospects in the state in his class,” Burgin said.
It’s exactly because of Hyde’s standout talent and extraordinary potential that Bolton said he and the other Panthers coaches work to push Hyde even harder in games, practices, and team workouts.
“I challenge him constantly because I see a lot of potential in what he could be…it takes coaches to push him beyond his comfortability, it’s our job to push, push and push until there’s no more—you don’t know how high that ceiling is until you push for it,” Bolton said.
The season hasn’t panned out the why either Hyde or the coach had hoped for, as the Panthers are currently 4-10 in the 21 game season.
Far from a disappointment though, Bolton said that a season full of challenges — ranging from a particularly high concentration of younger players on the team this year to difficulties posed by the pandemic — has brought out the best in his young team, with the players showing remarkable resilience, poise, and determination in the face of adversity.
“As a coach, obviously you want to see the results on the scoreboard…but guys are getting better, they’re working hard, and they have that passion to continue to work hard…these kids have shown resilience, just in terms of perseverance they’ve shown the traits that we want these kids to have as young men, dealing with adversity and staying motivated under the circumstances,” Bolton said.