It’s been quite a year for basketball in Thibodaux.
The Tigers are fresh off capturing the Class 5A state title and a trio of Thibodaux players get to play together one last time on their home court.
Rashod Robinson, Marvin Robertson Jr. and Kobi Johnson all will be taking part in the Sports Medicine Center of Thibodaux Regional Bayou versus River High School Basketball Shootout presented by the Thibodaux Lions Club.
“It made a lot of people happy, especially our city, our coaches and my teammates. It made everybody happy. I feel like we accomplished our goal. To win state, especially the first one in school history, it was real nice,” said Robinson.
“It means a lot of recognition for us. A lot of people doubted us and tell us, ‘great job.’ Being the first to win it at Thibodaux High, that was real big for our city. Also, winning the MVP, that’s special to me,” Johnson said.
“It’s everything I dreamed of, to be state champ. It’s what I’ve dreamed of, ever since I was a kid,” said Robertson.
Varsity Sports Now Louisiana will be live streaming the Shootout slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Thibodaux High gym, which includes the girls and boys all-star games, the 3-point contest, and the slam dunk contest. Eric Richey will be hosting the broadcast with Drew Robison handling play-by-play duties, and Lonn Ellzey offering color commentary.
The game will also be tape-delayed on Cox Sports Television at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Coaching the talented Thibodaux trio as part of the West team is Derek Szush of Assumption.
“I was raised in Thibodaux and was an assistant at Thibodaux, not with those guys, but I came up through that community,” Szush said. “They are all a bunch of winners. People ask me what is so special about Thibodaux and I say they just win. They come in like that. They find ways to win. Their guards are awesome. I think that was the core of their team.”
Szush gets one last chance to also coach a pair of his Mustang players, Marlon Robinson and Treshawn Jupiter.
“We lost in the second round and those guys have a lot of juice left. They had to kind of step up, even though that might not be their role during the regular season, they are showing (All-Star teammates) what we are doing. We put in really, really basic concepts of what we do in practice,” said Szush, referring to Robinson and Jupiter.
Other members of West squad include: Peyton Amedee and Matt Rodrigue of E.D. White; Brooks Thomas and Elijah Swan of Central Catholic; Julian Woods and Sean Warren of H.L. Bourgeois; and Jared Singleton of Morgan City.
The East team, coached by Ellender’s Kirt Townsend, is comprised of: Brandon Davis and Brandon Volion of East St. John; Everett Jackson and Courtney Smith of Central Lafourche; Darrius Lucas and Frank Robinson of Ellender; Mako Martin and Jayce Ellis of Destrehan; Keithon Burham of St. James; Trey Gallagher of South Lafourche; Taighan Poindexter of Terrebonne; and Terrance Sims of South Terrebonne.
Although there has been some slight alterations, the game has been around for eight years.
“It’s strictly been Bayou vs the River but the River teams didn’t provide enough players so we tried different stuff. We went north versus south of Highway 90 last year. This year, we went east and west of Highway 20 in order to balance out the numbers,” said Szush.
Szush has been one of the head coaches for all eight years.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Szush said of the regional all-state game. “Not every kid gets to say they won the last game they ever played in high school. Only one team gets to say that. Thibodaux High won the state championship but if you can get an opportunity to win that last game you put on that jersey, it’s always a good feeling.”
The East squad feature’s the game’s top scorer in Davis, who averaged 21 points per game for East St. John.
“I’m excited to coach him. He’s explosive,” Townsend said of Davis.
The team also boasts Burham, who pulled down 16 rebounds per game for St. James.
“He’s a real bully around the goal,” said Townsend.
Townsend also gets an opportunity to coach a pair of his players one last time, including Frank Robinson.
“Frank Robinson was a wonderful athlete to coach for four years. He has a touch around the goal. We love his attitude. He’s a kid that will run through a wall for you. I will miss him,” Townsend said.
Along with only two practices to prepare for the game, the coaches also have to deal with the challenge of dividing up playing time.
“We haven’t figured that part out yet. Everyone will get some playing time. It’s an All-Star game,” said Townsend.
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