Temecula native Isaiah Mobley, who currently plays basketball for USC, announced last week that he was withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to stay at school for his junior season. Mobley played during his high school days at Rancho Christian, where he was instrumental, along with brother Evan, in putting the school on the map with their CIF Southern Section titles, open division play and CIF State tournament appearances.

Former Rancho Christian standout and Temecula native, Isaiah Mobley, announced last week that he was withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to stay at USC for his junior season. Valley News/Andrez Imaging

After a 17-point, eight-rebound, four-assist performance against Kansas, Mobley’s NBA draft stock went through the roof. After the NCAA tournament was over, Isaiah announced he would be looking into his options, which also included the NBA draft, as well as an option to stay in school as a junior.

Mobley made the most of his invite to the draft combine, but with USC losing its top two scorers – Mobley’s younger brother Evan and Tahj Eaddy – to the draft, Isaiah’s thoughts quickly countered with most of the core of last year’s team is returning for another go-around.

“Ain’t this what you been waiting for,” Mobley wrote in his Twitter announcement last week, which was made four hours before the deadline for NCAA players to withdraw from the draft.

Isaiah Mobley (15) averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds in four NCAA Tournament games for USC in 2021. Valley News/Andrez Imaging

Mobley will now go back to USC where he could be the team’s likely leading scorer in 2021-2022. There are not many other players on the roster who can fill his role in USC’s offense. Mobley is a proven post player and with the addition of a three-person freshman class and Memphis transfer Boogie Ellis, things are looking up for the Trojans.

The 2021 NBA draft will be the 75th edition of the draft. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams will take turns selecting amateur United States college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. It will be held on July 29, 2021 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and televised nationally by ESPN while ABC will televise the first round only.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.