The Shadow Mountain Matadors are one of the best basketball programs in the state, and they just got better.
A roster that features guards Jaelen House and Jovan Blacksher, who combine for 38.9 points, 11 assists and over 10 steals per game added senior guard Marcus Shaver to the mix on Friday.
Shaver was one of the top guards in the state his freshman and sophomore year at St. Mary’s before enrolling in multiple prep schools around the country. The UC Santa Barbara commit never found a permanent landing spot for multiple reasons, whether it be financial issues with the institution or low academic standards that could have potentially hindered his college eligibility.
Im beyond blessed to announce that I have committed to UCSB! All glory to God. pic.twitter.com/6XLWqyALLM
— Marcus Shaver Jr (@marcus10shaver) August 17, 2016
He finally decided to come back to Phoenix and enrolled at Shadow Mountain last summer. Because of AIA rules, a transfer must sit out the team’s first nine games of the season, something head coach Mike Bibby thought should not apply to Shaver.
“I’m glad to have him back,” Bibby said. “I don’t think he should have sat out anyway, but I’m glad he got a chance to play. He felt good out there, he looked good out there.”
In his first game with the Matadors, Shaver and co. defeated Pinnacle 87-78 on Friday. The established point guard’s first time on the court came with some anxiety as he added 16 points.
“I had to get the jitters out, I can’t lie to you,” Shaver said after the game. “It was a great feeling playing my first senior game.”
The past year was full of frustration and forced Shaver to learn how to be patient. Now that he is back on the hardwood, he is playing angry.
“I’m just taking all my frustration out on the court,” Shaver said. “I’m healthy, I didn’t play, I got fresh legs. I just need to get more conditioned.”
On a roster full of playmakers, Shaver learned quickly the key to the team’s success and a potential state title run.
“As long as we share the ball, everybody eats.”
The 11-0 Matadors are certainly eating, and they are hungry for a state title.