Jabe Mullins relishes his role on the basketball court and in his community.
Both are major.
As important as it was to lead Mount Si to the Class 4A boys basketball state championship — and it was a top priority coming into his senior season — Mullins also embraced the significance of his visibility in Snoqualmie Valley.
The 6-foot-6 guard doesn’t just want to be remembered as the impetus behind the Wildcats’ first title since 1977.
“I want people to understand how much it meant for me to be someone little kids could look up to in the community,” he said.
He recalls a conversation he had with coach Jason Griffith as a freshman.
“He said, ‘You need to leave a legacy here. You can leave a legacy on kids and everyone in the Valley,’ because it’s such a close-knit community,” Mullins said. “I just want to be one of those athletes who can come back and help out around the community and be someone other people can look up to.”
Mullins is one of the program’s most decorated players — four-time All-KingCo 4A selection, two-time MVP, state tournament MVP, and now: The Seattle Times State Player of the Year in boys basketball.
He averaged 19.2 points, 6.8 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.2 blocks and set a Class 4A state tournament records for assists in a game (14) and overall for a tourney (29 in three outings). But Griffith most praised his work ethic and character.
“Jabe exemplifies what elite student athletes should strive to be,” Griffith said. “Someone who puts as much time into being the best on and off the court. … He is a role model for hundreds of kids and takes time to chat with them.”
Mullins is top-notch in the classroom, too, with a 3.95 GPA that played a role in his scholarship offer from Stanford. His final five also included Oregon State, Washington State and Utah State before the four-star recruit settled on St. Mary’s, which made the hardest rush.
“I could just tell they wanted me super-bad,” he said, adding that while academics is important — he plans get some sort of business degree — he wants basketball to be a high priority as well.
While his older and younger brothers concentrate on baseball — a sport he also played when he was younger (as well as football) — Jabe chose basketball, which his father, Burke, starred in at Pacific Lutheran University. Known as one of the purest shooters in school history, Burke Mullins was inducted into the PLU Hall of Fame in 2011.
Jabe is well known for his accuracy as well, shooting 51 percent from the field overall (57.3 on two-pointers and 38.5 on threes) and 88 percent at the free-throw line.
He and fellow senior Tyler Patterson, Mount Si’s second-leading scorer, have played together since third grade.
“Being able to compete against him has gotten me better,” Patterson said. “He’s a great competitor and great leader and it’s been an honor playing with him.”
Mullins said he embraced his ever-growing leadership role in the program over the past four years.
“I want people to know how much I improved not only as a player but as a leader,” he said, “especially this year. And that’s not only something that helps me in basketball, but in life.”
Mullins became especially driven after last year’s 69-43 loss to Gonzaga Prep of Spokane in the state championship game. He vowed to finish the journey this season.
“I wasn’t going to lose in the championship game again,” he said.
Mullins made sure of it by delivering 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds against Central Valley in the final. In three tournament games, he averaged 19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 9.7 assists.
Opposing coaches commented on his ability to affect the game even when he wasn’t scoring, and Griffith concurs.
“Jabe has developed into one of the best playmakers to ever come out of the state,” he said.
The Seattle Times All-State Boys Basketball Team
PF Paolo Banchero, O’Dea, 6-9, jr.
23.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocks
A five-star recruit rated among the nation’s best players in the 2021 class, Banchero earned overall and defensive MVP honors in the mighty Metro League and carried the Irish to a second-place Class 3A state finish.
F Tari Eason, Garfield, 6-8, sr.
22.3 points, 15.7 rebounds
Eason took a well-deserved bow after taking the Bulldogs to the Class 3A state crown with 21 points and 14 boards against O’Dea, earning tourney MVP honors. Signed with Cincinnati.
G/F Tanner Toolson, Union, 6-5, sr.
23 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals.
Named “Mr. Basketball” (the MVP in all classifications) by the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association, Toolson fueled the Titans’ 27-1 season capped by the Class 4A third-place trophy.
PG Nolan Hickman, Eastside Catholic, 6-3, jr.
17.6 points, 3.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals
If he’s not already the best point guard in the state, he likely will be with the speed and skill set that translates well at the next level. First-team, all-tourney choice after EC’s third-place state showing.
P Kaden Perry, Battle Ground, 6-9, jr.
23.7 points, 15.3 rebounds, 3.3 blocks
A traditional big man who can also stretch the floor, the Gonzaga recruit regularly dominated at both ends and was the major reason the Tigers reached the Class 4A state tournament.
C Tyson Degenhart, Mount Spokane, 6-8, jr.
24.5 points, 7 rebounds
Degenhart, who has committed to Boise State, can fill it up inside or out and has guard-like ball-handling skills, often bringing the ball upcourt on a team that reached the Class 3A final 12.
C J.T. Tuimoloau, Eastside Catholic, 6-5, Jr.
15 points, 8 rebounds, 2.5 assists
G Liam Lloyd, Gonzaga Prep, 6-5, sr.
21.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.3 steals
Liam was part of the Bullpups’ back-to-back championship teams and played a bigger role with the graduation of Anton Watson (multiple player of the year awards), helping them return to state.
F Tyler Linhardt, King’s, 6-7, so.
21.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists
Linhardt came into the season with multiple D-1 offers and his stock surely rose after a dominant Class 1A state tourney, earning MVP honors after taking King’s to the title. Can deliver dunks and three-pointers.
PG Ryan Moffet, Odessa, 5-11, sr.
30.1 points, 2.7 assists, 2.6 steals
After becoming the state’s all-time leading scorer, Moffett led the Tigers to their first Class 1B state title, pouring in 28 points (including five three-pointers) to finish with 3,216 for his career.