Junior leads Tigers, averaging 17 points per game

Pauline Kirbo Thames
February 10, 2009
Julia H. Richard
February 12, 2009
Pauline Kirbo Thames
February 10, 2009
Julia H. Richard
February 12, 2009

Step foot in a gym for any of Thibodaux High’s basketball games and immediately the talk will be of Shavon Coleman.

Whether it’s the opposing team discussing how to cover him, the Tigers incorporating him in the offense or the fans buzzing about him, Coleman’s name is heard throughout the walls of Tiger Gym.

He may be only 17 years old, but the junior has rightfully earned the recognition.

After finishing last season averaging 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals per game, the Tiger faithful came into this season expecting much of the same.

And Coleman hasn’t disappointed. With three games remaining, including Friday’s contest against Westgate, he is averaging nearly 18 points per game and has scored over 20 points multiple times for his team.

Coleman’s dominant inside presence has sparked the Tigers to a Top 10 ranking in the state with a 23-4 overall record (7-2 in District 8-5A).

SportsNet caught up with the 6-foot, 4-inch center to discuss playing basketball and off the court.

SportsNet: What age did you first start playing organized basketball?

Shavon Coleman: I would say 10. I would play games with friends around the neighborhood, but I really didn’t get into Biddy Basketball until I was 10. I haven’t stopped since then though.

SN: So, Shavon who are some of your role models growing up as a kid?

SC: Everyone looked up to Michael Jordan. I would say him. I would also say Allen Iverson and (former Thibodaux High product and current Minnesota Golden Gopher) Damian Johnson. I used to enjoy coming to watch him play.

SN: Is there one player who you try to model your game after?

SC: Lebron James. He can make so many things happen on the court.

SN: How big of a role has basketball played in your life over the years?

SC: It’s been one of the largest parts of my life since I was a kid. I’ve always enjoyed playing the game.

SN: What is the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?

SC: It has to be, ‘Never give up. Keep going.’ I’ve heard that from a few people growing up. It’s true in basketball and in life.

SN: Who was one of your biggest influences throughout your life so far?

SC: My god-brother Kerry Coleman. He’s been there for me since day one. I’m glad he’s here for me.

SN: What’s the best part about playing high school basketball in a packed gym like you do twice a week?

SC: It keeps the level of play up and makes you want to perform better. There’s nothing like making plays in front of the home fans and I’m doing that.

SN: What are you doing in your free time when you are not around basketball?

SC: Just hang out with my friends.

SN: Obviously you hope to play basketball after high school, but if that doesn’t work out what are your plans?

SC: Honestly, I never even thought about it. I still have one year left to finish my career strong.

SN: What goals and expectations have you set for yourself for the rest of this season?

SC: Win district, go deep in the playoffs and get to the Cajun Dome.

Shavon Coleman’s performance this season has been one of the main reasons for the Thibodaux Tigers’ strong play all season long. A junior, Coleman averages nearly 17 points per outing and his team in ranked in the Top 10. * Photo by KYLE CARRIER