Playing beyond his years, Davies freshman with D-I offer Mason Klabo quickly making mark
Growing up around the game, Fargo Davies freshman Mason Klabo is quickly making his mark on the varsity stage
FARGO — Mason Klabo has been infatuated with sports since he could walk. It didn’t matter what toys his parents bought him, all Klabo wanted to play with was a ball.
“I think he had a ball in his hand from the second he could walk,” said Mary Perrizo Klabo, Mason’s mom. “He was always shooting, throwing, dribbling.”
Basketball, football, baseball. It didn't matter what sport it was. Mason loved playing it.
“You could tell he was very coordinated from an early age,” Mary said. “It kind of just came naturally to him.”
Now a teenager, not much has changed for the Fargo Davies freshman. He still wants the ball in his hands, and has proved to be comfortable in clutch moments. The 6-foot guard Mason has quickly made his mark on the varsity boys basketball stage.
Mason leads the Eastern Dakota Conference in scoring, assists, and steals per game. Through eight games, he’s averaging nearly 26 points per contest to go along with 4.1 assists and 4 steals. He’s shooting 51% from the field for Davies (7-1), which was ranked fourth in the latest North Dakota Class A media poll.
“I always knew he was talented and gifted and was going to do a great job, but some of the stuff he does really early as a freshman I’m like, ‘Holy cow. I can’t believe he just did that,’” Mary said.
The 15-year-old phenom made waves across the state last week when he erupted for 45 points in a win over Fargo North. A few days later, he received a scholarship offer from North Dakota State.
After a great call with @CoachRichman last night, I have received a offer to play basketball at NDSU! Words will never be able to describe how thankful I am and how blessed I am! @NDSUmbb @KyanBrown pic.twitter.com/D22MdxY5tF— mason klabo (@mason_klabo) January 14, 2022
“They said the words and I just kind of broke down crying because that’s what I always dreamed of as a kid, to get a D-I offer,” Mason said. “Obviously I didn’t know I was gonna do it at this soon of an age. I just cried that night. I’m so thankful.”
Mason is the only freshman in the top 20 in scoring in the EDC and one of four players in the conference averaging at least 20 points.
Mason made his varsity debut last year as an eighth-grader. He averaged 5.9 points and three assists in 25 games last season while shooting 47% from the floor and 44% from beyond the arc. Mason, who turned 15 in November, grew two inches from last year. His presence has been felt all season, and college coaches have taken notice.
“It was pretty surreal. It was very emotional,” Mary said of the NDSU offer. “I think the world of (Dave) Richman and I think the world of his program as well. It was really special and it meant a lot to Mason and all his hard work is kind of paying off. He was very humbled by it and appreciative.”
Mason grew up around the game. His mom, Mary, is a former Mandan (N.D.) standout and 1998 Miss Basketball award winner who went on to win three North Central Conference championships with the University of North Dakota from 2001-04. His dad, Darren, played basketball at UND and Mayville State. His sister, Lexi, is a former Fighting Hawks women’s basketball standout and Miss Basketball finalist for Davies.
Mason’s uncle, Chuck, played football at NDSU and his aunt, Leah, played basketball for the Bison. Athleticism and drive run in the family. Mason also plays quarterback and had a few starts last fall after Davies’ senior quarterback went down with an ankle injury.
“I remember always taking him to (basketball) games and you’d look over and see other kids running around and playing, but Mason would literally sit on the bleachers and watch games,” Mary said.
It was apparent from an early age that Mason belonged on the hardwood.
Mason was the water boy for Davies for all four years his older brother, Jaden, played varsity. He also went to practices for Jaden’s travel team, which their dad, Darren, coached. If they ever needed another kid for the three-man weave, Mason jumped right in.
“He would weasel his way up when they’d call a timeout and would listen and soak it in,” Mary said of when he was a water boy.
The Class of 2025 standout has spent countless hours in the gym honing his craft. He wasn’t satisfied with his 3-point shooting early this season, so during Christmas break, Mason met his coach at the Davies gym before practice in the morning and put up hundreds of shots. During the offseason, Mason worked on finishing around the rim and mid-range. That work has helped diversify his scoring game this season.
“He’s just a complete gym rat,” Mary said. “It’s constant with him.”