Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 14, 2013

Putting Hall in Marshall

Johnson Central senior forward inks with Herd

PAINTSVILLE — Shane Hall was eager to subdue the chaos that comes with constant college attention.

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward put the search for his next school to sleep with a couple swipes of the pen on Wednesday morning at the Johnson Central High School library.

Hall inked a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Marshall University in front of family, friends, teammates and media members on the first day of the basketball early signing period.

While he’s looking forward to suiting up for the Thundering Herd next season, his current mission is to help guide another ride into the state tournament. The Golden Eagles are the two-time defending 15th Region champions.

“This is a pretty big relief,” Hall admitted. “It will help me focus more on the high school team instead of where I’m going to college and worrying about all that.”

Marshall was one of 11 Division I programs hoping to add Hall to its mix — others that offered were Tennessee, Butler, UAB, Northern Kentucky, Indiana State, Wright State, Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky and Miami (Ohio).

Marshall coach Tom Herrion had originally expressed interest in Hall during his sophomore season, according to Golden Eagles coaches, but just recently re-entered the picture.

Hall, a Rivals.com three-star recruit, said the fit was a natural one.

“I could tell that they really needed me there, and it’s still close to home,” said the soft-spoken senior. “It’s a good place for me.”

Hall became just the third Johnson Central boys basketball player to sign to a Division I college out of high school, joining David Couch (West Point, 1979) and Jodi Salisbury (Eastern Kentucky, 1991).

The two-time All-State player is expected to be a Mr. Basketball finalist this season if he stays healthy.

While he’s consistently churned out quality production since his freshman year, he caught the eyes of the Bluegrass with a terrific effort in the Sweet Sixteen opening round this past March.

Against Louisville Ballard, which headed into the tournament as the favorite, Hall was 10 of 11 from the field, including four dunks, scoring 28 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

As a junior, Hall averaged 15.9 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.

Hall holds the school’s all-time blocks mark, with 332 career swats. He is on pace to finish second in the state in that category behind Paintsville’s J.R. VanHoose (541). VanHoose also went to Marshall, where he orchestrated a stellar career, from the town of Paintsville.

Hall also owns the school record for career rebounds, with 827. He is currently at 1,235 total points, on pace to break the record tally of 1,880, and he sits on 387 free throws made, just 50 short of the program mark. He has 38 career double-doubles and three triple-doubles.

Also included on the list of accolades: a two-time 15th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player; a two-time All-Area selection; a Kentucky-Indiana Junior All-Star Game participant; and the 2012 Boyd County Roundball Classic Player of the Game against Portsmouth, in which he racked up a career-best seven slams.

Hall doesn’t profess to being the best jump-shooter on the floor, but that’s one area he’s working to improve. He attempted just five 3-pointers all of last season.

The greatest emphasis, though, is placed on posting up, blocking shots and rebounding.

Hall thought the way that he moves for his size attracted Marshall to him.

“They liked how good I get up and down the court,” Hall said.

Johnson Central coach Tommy McKenzie, who has coached Hall throughout his varsity years, said he was proud to be a part of Wednesday’s moment.

“As a coach, it was surreal, an awesome experience,” said McKenzie, who played for Johnson Central and Alice Lloyd College. “It’s awesome for our school and for our community.”

Hall is looking forward to playing for Herrion next fall.

“I really like him. He seems excited about his team, and wanting them to get better,” Hall said.

Hall had committed to Marshall in late September.

The Herd also has commitments from John A. Logan College forward Jay Johnson and Kirkwood Community College center Henry Uwadiae.

Marshall went 13-19 overall in 2012-13 and is 2-0 to start this season.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos