QA with John Marshalls Ty White

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The John Marshall Justices had been close many times
before to winning a State Championship, including an appearance in the title
game in 2013 when they were beaten by Henrico.
Despite graduating their top two scorers from that team, the Justices
had their sights set on becoming the first Group 3A State Champs in the new
realignment that went into effect for 2013-14.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Avenging a loss to George Wythe in the 3A-East Region
Championship, the Justices breezed by the Bulldogs 74-56 to capture their first
state title since 1954. Sophomore guard
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Jeremy Sheppard scored 27 points with 15
coming from behind the three-point arc.
Senior point guard
normal'>Quaman Burton tallied
a double-double with 14 points and 14 assists, and junior wing
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Muhammad chipped in 12.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>A former Petersburg assistant coach,
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> White just completed his fourth season
at the helm of John Marshall, which finished 22-5 overall this past year and is
94-19 with a pair of State Tournament appearances since the Team Loaded boss
took over in 2010. In this Exclusive Q
& A with, Coach White discusses his team's Championship
journey, key players in-depth and outlook for next season.
style=> See the full transcript from our conversation
below . . .



background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Q & A with John Marshall's Ty White
(Group 3A State Coach of the Year)



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>You've had a month now to
digest winning the State Championship.
Take me through what it has been like since winning it and how do you
reflect on the accomplishment?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's been incredible the
past couple weeks. The guys have
received a lot of attention and it has been a great thing for the city of
Richmond. To know the amount of hard
work these guys put in and never bucked the system, it was a real different
approach. You didn't see any
attitudes. You didn't see any

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I've never coached a group as hard as this group, nor
did I see this group back down from it.
They literally adapted to anything we threw at them and we threw a lot
of different things at them. It was a
great feeling. I'm already looking
forward to getting back in the gym and working out."



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>What was the neatest part
for you about winning a State Championship?

style=> "Well, it was actually that night or the day
of the State Championship when I had my son there and my daughter there.
style=> My son is six and my daughter is two.
style=> I was able to hold up the trophy with those
guys with them there. The day of the
State Championship, my son said to me, 'Dad, I hope you win because I just want
to hold up the Championship trophy.' It
was a beautiful feeling to actually do that and have that come to pass for my
son. I think he'll remember this several
years from now."



style=> What will this team be remembered for by
others and how will you remember them?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"As a team.
style=> Exactly the word team comes to mind with
them. They epitomize what it means to
play team basketball. So many times, you
see more talented teams not win. I've
been apart of more talented teams that did not win.
style=> I'm just grateful to have a special group of
men who care more about the team than themselves.
style=> This has truly be
one of the more fun group of guys to be around, and also one of the more
enjoyable years to coach, push and mentor that I've ever experienced in my



style=> Last year's John Marshall team got to the
State Final and didn't win it all and I know you were an assistant on some
might fine Petersburg squads that came close to capturing a state title.
style=> Did you use any of that, those experiences,
as teaching moments for these guys?

style=> "Absolutely.
I thought last year we got a taste of it, but we didn't fully reach our
goal. We didn't shy away from it
either. Starting on the first day of
practice, we talked about it and knew clearly what the goal and standard was.
style=> Anything less pretty much would've been a



style=> In your team's case, what was the turning
point or was there any defining moment you look back to that enabled you to
reach your ultimate goal?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"One of the turning points
in the season I would say was the loss to George Wythe at home in the 3A-East
Regional Championship. It was a humbling
experience that brought about a tighter group of guys who collectively didn't
want to let each other down. From that
point, I knew ultimately that we were going to truly win it all."



style=> I felt one of the eye-opening games for you
was in our Sixth Annual Classic Presented by Cox Sports at
Green Run High School in the nightcap when you lead a nationally-ranked Cape
Henry team, one of the top private schools in the state, for most of the way
before falling in overtime to them. Even
though you lost that game, did you feel it sent a message?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Well, we were a little
disappointed that we didn't win that game.
We didn't get it done, and any time we step on the court, we believe
we're going to win the game, regardless of who we play.
style=> I thought Cape Henry was a great test for us
to really see where we were. We always
look for those types of high level competition games where we have to max out
because if you don't max out you'll get embarrassed in the gym.
style=> That makes you play your best.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"The thought of not playing the best and not only
getting beat, but getting embarrassed is something to keep the guys
focused. We thought we gained a lot from
that experience that night. They're very
well-coached, a very talented group of guys and were undefeated at that point;
I don't think they lost until the State Final in fact."



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>You played a challenging
schedule, both with some of the heavy hitters in your conference and the likes
of Cape Henry, Benedictine, Christchurch, Trinity Episcopal and others outside
your conference. Were you impressed with
how some of your young guys shined in that spotlight?

style=> "We were fortunate enough to have a different
group of guys. They were young in names,
but in their minds and abilities, they were pretty much advanced to be honest
with you. With the likes of a freshman
in Greg Jones, an extremely talented sophomore in Jeremy Carter-Sheppard, and
quality juniors such as Taqqi Muhammad and Nate
Williams, our underclassmen stepped up to the plate, especially in the
postseason. They took it to the next
level. But we were ultimately led by a
fearless warrior in Quaman Burton.



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Break down
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Burton more in-depth.
style=> What separates him from others and made him
such a valuable asset to your team?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He's the best leader I've
ever coached, period. We're talking AAU,
High School, anything. His ability to
lead guys and get them to rally behind them was impeccable.
style=> I say it often that he could lead a Fortune
500 company. He'll do that at the next
level. He'll be a leader.
style=> In the next couple of weeks, he'll make some
visits and decide what the best fit is for him.
It all starts with the leadership qualities.
style=> But beyond that, his ability to defend and
want to defend proved to be real crucial.
His willingness to sacrifice his scoring meant a great deal, too.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Quaman's one of those kids
who can have 20-25 points a night because of how easily he can get in the lane
and score often causes pressure on defenses.
However, that wouldn't have ultimately made us as successful of a
team. We would've lost a few more games
if he had that mindset. He bought into
the concept of making sure everybody got to their spots, put them in place to be
successful and getting them to buy into situations where they can be
successful. And then he had that mindset
of when my team needs a bucket, I'll go get it for them.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It was his first year playing point guard full-time as
a varsity starter, but he played a bunch his junior year off the ball a little
bit. He was on varsity as a freshman and
saw some great leaders in Tahir Little, Willie Mangum, Jestin
Lewis and Gerard Dean-McBride. To lose
what we lost the year prior, it's really a testament to how hard he and others
worked. You have to think, Dominique
Terry had a good year at Chowan, Gerard Dean-McBride played well at Virginia
Union, and Brian White played extremely well at The Citadel by earning
class=GramE>Freshman of the Year in that conference.
style=> He soaked up a lot."



style=> Speak on the play of your talented Class of
2016 guard Jeremy Sheppard.
style=> He was our choice for 3A State Player of the
Year and it's fair to say he became an even bigger name on the recruiting radar
when the postseason concluded than when his sophomore year started is it not?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It truly, truly did not
shock me what he did. Jeremy was a kid
as a freshman that we trusted a lot to play.
His ability is something different.
You can just look at some kids and say they've got it.
style=> He's one of those kids that truly
class=GramE>has 'it.' He works
really hard and his motion and body in work is almost effortless.
style=> When you look at him you might not think he's
playing hard, but then you look in the stat sheet and that joker will have six
steals, and I think in the Championship game he had close to seven.
style=> He does a lot and it doesn't always look like
it, which can be a good thing.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Jeremy's very efficient.
style=> There's not a lot of wasted motion with his
game and the outside shooting is certainly excellent.
style=> I think the sky truly is the limit for that
young man. To be honest, he has
high-major ability. His ability to
handle the ball, score, shoot, it all is going to be really limitless the next
couple years. I know we're going to work
to evolve his game more as a point guard, not so much that he won't score as
much, but he will also handle the ball.
He was the secondary ball-handler this year with Quaman.
style=> Next season, he'll be tasked with the responsibility
of a leader, and secondly more of a ball-handler.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Right now, he has offers from like Mount St. Mary's,
Miami of Ohio, Hampton University.
style=> Indiana has been in to see him, UCONN, and he's
been to VCU a couple times on unofficial visits.
style=> He just had a talk not too long ago with his
parents and Shaka [Smart] and his staff.
style=> VCU is on him really hard, and it'll really
pick up this summer as he plays 17-and-Under and plays point guard."



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Every team has those role
players who mean ample to their success and
normal'>Jay Broaddus was one of those under-the-radar performers in your
title run. What makes him tick?

style=> "Jay Broaddus is just a junior and he's a real
fearless kid. He can probably play any
sport in the building, football, basketball, baseball, and anything else.
style=> Talent-wise and athletic-wise, he can get a
lot done. He's a guy that came off the
bench for us and literally would've started for most every other team in the state.
style=> But he accepted that role to come off the
bench, be an energy guy and brought a lot of toughness with him.
style=> You knew what you were going to get with him
consistency wise each and every night.
He's give us a hard 18-20 minutes a game, even as a sophomore when he
came off the bench. He's a tough kid who's
going to defend and sacrifice his body."



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Your junior
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Muhammad was a really exceptional
perimeter defender that earned a spot on our Second Team All-Underclass Team in
Group 3A for his efforts. Was there a
better perimeter defender in the state than him?

style=> "Oh man, he guarded everybody's best guy and
did a tremendous job. From the likes of
a Devin Robinson, Robert Johnson, Chris Clarke from Cape Henry, the [Justin]
Goode kid at Lord Botetourt and Kadeem Wright, he guarded everybody's best guy.
style=> He embraced that challenge night in and night

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Taqqi's a 6-4, 6-5 guard
that can play and defend multiple positions.
He currently holds an offer from Howard University.
style=> He's a very scholastic student-athlete.
style=> I'd say he'll probably get a lot of interest
from a bunch of mid-major programs.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"This is another guy that's very efficient who has
ability with his athleticism to dunk, rebound well with his size and is
stronger than he appears. Actually, he's
the strongest kid on the team. His game
should only continue to get better."



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Another junior, forward
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Nate Williams
style='font-weight:normal'>, made some key plays in the State
Championship and is a prospect garnering attention for the next level.
style=> Would you say he's showing flashes of being a
player to be reckoned with down the road?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"No question.
style=> Nate is really coming into his own as a
basketball player and is very skilled. This
is a kid that has made a lot of strides, daily, weekly, yearly.
style=> He's got that ability to step back and hit
the 3. Around the basket, he can finish
with both hands. He's one of the few
kids you see with an effective jump-hook in High School Basketball.
style=> He's wiry, long.
style=> You're going to see a different Nate next
season. He's already staying after
school working out. You'll see his body
develop, and as you see his body develop, you'll see his game develop as well.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"On the recruiting front, he's a guy who holds offers
from Campbell University and Hampton University as well.
style=> He'll pique a lot of people's interest
because there aren't a ton of guys that are 6-8, long, athletic and can shoot.
style=> Early in the year, he suffered a concussion
and missed that big Benedictine game for us.
He's a kid who can break out next year and blow a lot of people's minds."



style=> One of the players you've spoken highly of is
freshman forward Greg Jones.
style=> How good can he be in your eyes?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"When it's all said and
done, Greg Jones literally may be one of the better kids to come out of that
school at John Marshall along with Jeremy Carter-Sheppard.
style=> Greg has that ability to dominate the
paint. Even though he's just 15 years
old, he looks like a grown man. He'll
average a double-double next year, easily.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Greg started his whole freshman year.
style=> Doing that as a freshman is rare.
style=> We don't win a State Championship without
that kid. He's a tough kid as well and
already holds an offer from Longwood. He's
such a very talented kid, and trust me, he's going to
be even better next year. You'll see him
knock down more jump shots next year and show more versatility.
style=> Having him being able to score both inside and
outside next year will be very good, and hard to defend.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Having Nate and Greg back in the front-court to go
with Jeremy, Taqqi and Jay in the backcourt is a real
plus. There's another kid we brought up
from our junior varsity team that broke his foot and played football.
style=> His name is
normal'>Xavier Trent. He's about
6-foot-4 and is going to be a good one to watch.
style=> He's a sophomore who'll be a junior next year
and should be fun to watch."



style=> As you look at this group, what was the key
or keys to your success?

style=> "Teamwork clearly was at the top of the
list. Also, our ability to defend was
class=GramE>another strength of ours.
We relied a lot on our defense, enormous ball pressure, and that
benefitted us. And ultimately, not
getting rattled was huge. That was great
for us, especially experiencing what we experienced the year prior.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Even though we had a lot of underclassmen on the team
with four out of five starters who'll be back next year, we had a good deal of
experience on the team. They were
mentally tough, and that's something we prided ourselves on, not just being
mentally tough, but also physically tough."



style=> Was there ever a time where you felt your
team's youth might get the better of you or did you feel all along this was a
special unit that would take it all the way?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"From the first practice,
I knew it was a special group. To
survive what they survived that first week, which we call 'tap out' week.
style=> I knew we were going to be special all year
long. The resiliency of these guys was
unbelievable. I really wish people could
know how tough these guys were. They
weren't fake tough with that jaw-jacking stuff.
style=> They were physically and mentally tough with
a refuse to lose attitude in their minds.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I knew I said this often and in the postgame press conference
after the State Championship, but the conference that we play in is
unreal. Literally, five out of the seven
teams could've won the state title out of our conference in Conference 26.
style=> That's no knock on any of those other schools
either. It was just a tough conference.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I go back to that game with Armstrong and they could've
very well held up the trophy. Coach
Watts does a phenomenal job of getting those guys to rally and they always seem
to play hard. The likes of a George
Wythe could've done it and we split with them before the title game, winning
the rubber match. They could've take it,
or even the likes of a Hopewell, and shucks, even though Petersburg got knocked
off by Hopewell, they had a team that could've beaten anyone in a one-game
situation this year in 3A. The likes of
TJ with a gifted scorer like Kadeem [Wright].
All of these teams were capable of winning a state title I believe.
style=> If you play one game, they could've beaten
any team."



style=> What if anything surprised you about your
team this season?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"What surprised me was how
quick they came together. I didn't know
they would bond as quick as they did.
style=> They really did bond early.
style=> That ultimately led me to believe that we
were going to be State Champions because those guys bonded.
style=> They were friends and teammates beyond the
court. That matters.
style=> It really does.
style=> When guys legitimately walk out of the locker
room and say 'I love you,' and tell it to their teammates like they're
class=GramE>dapping each other up, you could genuinely see the love and
not just hear the words. I knew it was a
special group."



style=> Any untold stories about this Championship
run that you'd like to share with the fans?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Well, one of our managers
was probably the sixth best player on the team (laughing).
style=> One was a kid by the name of Charles Harris.
style=> We had a couple of managers who played
two-on-two a lot and they actually won a lot of two-on-two battles in practice
and after practice. Our two managers,
Charles Harris and Wayne Mathis, those two guys probably should've been on the
team if they actually decided to come out for the team.
style=> But they were really good to be
managers. They're two students at the
school. One is a junior, so hopefully I
can get him to come out next year. The other
is a senior who's a baseball and volleyball player.
style=> Both of those guys could've literally been on
the team."



line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With the guys you have
coming back, you certainly have to replace Burton, but it seems rather
promising with a great chance to repeat.
What's the outlook for next season from your perspective?

line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Having that attention to
detail. Not overlooking any team or any
game because in the playoffs it only takes one game for you to slip up and you're
sitting at home. The best team doesn't
always win and that's the beauty of High School Basketball.
style=> You just have to be the best team for those
32 minutes.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"When I was at Petersburg as an assistant, I felt we
had the best team that year we had Cadarian Raines,
Chris Evans and that King's Fork team actually got us.
style=> I thought we clearly had the best team.
style=> We had the best talent I would say, but the better
team was truly that King's Fork team I can honestly admit.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We always have that chip on our shoulder as if we are
#1. We had it in our mindset from the
beginning. One of our chants every day
is, '1-2-3, We are Marshall.
style=> 4-5-6, State Champs.'
style=> You've got own it, and you've got to believe
it before you see it in order to see it.
That's one of the quotes I use all the time.
style=> You can't run from it.
style=> You can't hide from it.
style=> You've got to envision yourselves being State


115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related updates,
and you can also read his work in the
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Suffolk News Herald
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.
To contact Matthew, please e-mail
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, and don't forget to listen to him
every Saturday at 10AM on
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>,
plus watch him on the
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

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