The Shaw High School Hawks practiced the concept of team ball through out the 2013-14 basketball season, and it paid off as they captured the 1A State Boys Basketball Championship with a record of 26-7. The state title for Shaw was the school’s first since 1974 and third in school history.
The Hawks capped off their run in the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, aka “The Big House” on Mar. 13 with a 60-57 win over Hinds AHS in the championship game.
Junior guard Deshawn Davis, who averaged two assists and 1.8 steals per game, said capturing the state championship was a truly special moment for him.
“It feels greats,” Davis said. “That experience, I’ve never felt anything like it before. It’s amazing.”
Junior guard Malik Walker said the team went down to Jackson prepared to take the title.
“It’s starts off in practice, playing hard and staying dedicated,” Walker said. “We got down there, and we knew what we had to do. We went down there and played good “D” like we always do. We make passes, get buckets and have fun working on the court.”
Great team chemistry was key in Shaw’s success. When one player slumped, the other player picked up the slack. All the players and coaches encouraged each other through out the season. The bond was evident in the overall production of the team as four players averaged in double-figures in points, four players averaged at least five rebounds a game, eight players averaged at least one steal a game and four players averaged at least two assists per game.
Shaw High assistant coach Dekoshia Dorsey said the staff preached the concept of playing together.
“First and foremost, we always let them know it’s one team and one fight,” Dorsey said. “You can’t do nothing without God. We keep them on their heels and preach to them there’s nothing like being close together in brotherhood. Once they figured that out and trusted in one another and believed in their coaches, everything was smooth sailing down the road.”
Walker, who averaged 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game, said everyone on the team has a strong bond with one another that starts off the court and carries over into their plays.
“We get along well off the court,” Walker said. “Off the court, we still have fun and play around like we always do. We always say a family sticks together. We show that on the court. We pass the ball and share it a lot.”
Sophomore guard Jermarquis Stimage, Octavius’ brother, said all the players have complete confidence in one another.
“Everybody trusts each other,” Jermarquis, who scored an average 15.8 points per game, said. “Everybody can put points on the board and anybody can do it.”
One player that was extremely happy about winning a state championship was senior guard Zedric Bass. Bass averaged 15.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks a game. Bass recorded four straight double-doubles to close out the year and earned Most Valuable Player honors in the state championship game by scoring 25 points with 11 rebounds.
“I’ve been playing with these guys for a long time,” Bass said. “I missed out last year. I’m glad we wanted the ball. I’m the MVP and they helped me. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
For senior guard Octavius Stimage, capturing a state title was something he feels very honored to get.
“Not too many people can be called a state champion,” Stimage, who scored an average of 11.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, said. “It’s our first in 40 years. It’s just a blessing that we won this year. We’ve played as a team all year. We’re like brothers on and off the court. We have a lot of fun.”