Ellison head coach Alberto Jones Jr. had already been told a few times to watch out for a player named Shannon Bogues when Bogues arrived at Ellison four years ago.
But it was a former teammate, and future opponent, that let Jones know that he had legitimate reason to be excited about the player he was getting at the time.
“(Shoemaker head coach) Emund (Prichett) knew him,” Jones said. “And Emund was telling me how good he was going to be. So at first, I thought he was pretty good, but just the fact that Emund told me that meant a lot.
“I’ve come to think highly of his opinion, so once Emund told me, I knew we had something with him.”
Bogues didn’t blossom at first, spending two years on the junior varsity and contributing as a role player last season.
But the McLennan Community College signee more than justified that hype, and perhaps exceeded it, this past season, leading the Eagles in scoring and helping them gain the inside track to an eventual co-district title before breaking his wrist Jan. 30.
For that, Bogues is the Killeen Daily Herald All-Area Offensive Player of the Year.
“It feels good,” Bogues said. “I didn’t accomplish my goal what I had always been saying before the season — I wanted district MVP — but it feels good to be Offensive Player of the Year.”
Even as Bogues was slowly gaining confidence in his game the past two seasons, he showed flashes of his limitless potential, most notably at the end of his junior season.
So when he finally exploded onto the 12-6A scene this season, no one at Ellison was surprised.
And neither was Prichett.
“He’s always been good,” said Prichett, a friend of the Bogues family who was at his signing ceremony earlier this week. “I’ve never doubted his skill level. It’s just a matter of him putting it all together and gaining confidence in himself and understanding that when he steps on the court he’s probably one of the better guys out there.”
In a strange twist of fate, Prichett was actually a victim of one of Bogues’ most memorable games this past season, as the senior scored 22 points on 75 percent shooting in just three quarters of a 68-39 home win against Shoemaker — all while battling a nasty cold.
“It was my worst nightmare,” Prichett said. “I probably had nightmares about it the night before.”
But for Bogues, it was nice to know that his coach, and even opponents, always believed he’d one day become the player he was this past season.
And he said knowing that only motivates him to continue to justify the hype next season at McLennan.
“It’s great to know that other coaches have faith in me, they have confidence in me, I have confidence in myself,” Bogues said. “Friends, family, it’s just a good feeling to know that they have confidence in me.”