As the starting point guard at Bakersfield Christian the last three years, Seth Marantos has been at his best when he’s helping get his teammates involved.
The 5-foot-11 senior showcased that ability in leading the Eagles to the Southern California Regional championship last season.
This season, health guidelines permitting, Marantos is looking to add a new layer to his game, picking up the scoring punch to help compensate for the loss of players such as Ben Yurosek, the BVarsity player of the year who is now at Stanford and starting guard Levi Latu, who transferred to South Yosemite League rival Independence during the offseason.
“Each year I kept getting a bigger and better role,” said Marantos, who averaged nine points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals last season for the Eagles. “Just like sophomore year, I became a little more of a scorer, defender … my junior year, by that time, I was one of the main guys on the team who did pretty much....everything for the team. This year I have a much bigger role than last year. I’m literally going to have to be the guy, or one of them, and it’s going to be on me to win some games.”
Marantos’ bigger role, specifically scoring, is something he has demonstrated when needed. He sparked BCHS to a victory over a strong Pacific Christian squad last season with 20 early points, and added 25 in a victory over Liberty in the SYC Tournament with Yurosek sidelined with an injury.
“What doesn’t he mean to our team?” BCHS coach Garrett Brown said. “He’s our leader. He assembles our offense and makes plays for us. He makes plays for himself … guards the other teams’ best player. He’s a coach on the court. He’s an extension of myself and I can’t say enough good things about him. Whoever gets him for the next four years or five years or whatever, is going to be very happy.
“I can’t say enough about the intangibles that he brings. His competitiveness, leadership, toughness … just things that you can’t teach or you can’t coach, he has.”
With a scholarship offer by Fresno Pacific already in hand, Marantos is hoping to be able to showcase his talents, and compile important game highlights for other college coaches.
“My senior year is really important to me,” Marantos said. “Senior year is big. It’s your last year of high school. I want to try to go out with a big bang and just put on a show every night.”
But with the current health concerns centered around the COVID-19 pandemic, he realizes he may not have that opportunity this season.
“Thinking about not playing is definitely heart-wrenching,” Marantos said. ”I’ve always been school first, but it’s always been important to have basketball on the other hand. So if we don’t have a season, it’s definitely going to be tough.
“But I just definitely look at it like God has a plan.He knows what he’s doing, and also at the same time, high school basketball wasn’t really the goal. The goal is really just to get to college, getting a free education and getting to play basketball.”
Marantos, who boasts a 4.2 GPA is hoping to play professional basketball some day, but when he decides to hang up his sneakers, he has aspirations of becoming a physical therapist or a sports doctor.
His interest in kinesiology was fostered while rehabbing after fracturing a bone in his foot during his freshman season.
“I was really intrigued with the stuff that they did and how it all worked and how to take care of people’s bodies,” said Marantos.
His interest in helping others shouldn’t be a surprise. As a pass-first point guard he’s been demonstrating those characteristics the past three seasons.
“My thoughts going into the game is definitely getting my guys into the game first,” Marantos said. “I know if I get them going, it will make my game easier to score because if they’re scoring, the other team can’t help off of them. It opens up lanes for me and makes my job much easier.
“It’s honestly just how I’ve played my entire life. I’ve always admitted guys like Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul … a bunch of pass-first guards. With that they’re able to control the entire game, whether they’re scoring or not.”