Cilia and flagella are conserved subcellular organelles, which arise from centrioles and play critical roles in development and reproduction of eukaryotes. Dysfunction of cilia leads to life-threatening ciliopathies. HYLS1 is an evolutionarily conserved centriole protein, which is critical for ciliogenesis, and its mutation causes ciliopathy-hydrolethalus syndrome. However, the molecular function of HYLS1 remains elusive. Here, we investigated the function of HYLS1 in cilia formation using the Drosophila model. We demonstrated that Drosophila HYLS1 is a conserved centriole and basal body protein. Deletion of HYLS1 led to sensory cilia dysfunction and spermatogenesis abnormality. Importantly, we found that Drosophila HYLS1 is essential for giant centriole/basal body elongation in spermatocytes and is required for spermatocyte centriole to efficiently recruit pericentriolar material and for spermatids to assemble the proximal centriole-like structure (the precursor of the second centriole for zygote division). Hence, by taking advantage of the giant centriole/basal body of Drosophila spermatocyte, we uncover previously uncharacterized roles of HYLS1 in centriole elongation and assembly.