“That’s a travel!” shouts Shannon Bogues as his younger brother, Shamir, attempts to copy his between-the-legs layup in the Ellison gym on a Sunday morning.
“No it wasn’t,” Shamir retorts.
“Fine, we’re still tied,” says Shannon.
Both brothers are in the middle of their seasons — Shannon with Stephen F. Austin, and Shamir with Ellison — but they still found time for a game of “H-O-R-S-E” while on holiday break.
Shannon had a decorated career with Ellison. In his senior season with the Eagles, he was named District 12-6A Offensive Player of the Year. The now 21-year-old guard went on to play for McLennan Community College before transferring to Division I Stephen F. Austin in the fall of 2017 and made a March Madness appearance with the Lumberjacks in the spring.
Most recently, Shannon made a driving layup at the buzzer to cap off his 21 points as SFA took a 59-58 win at Baylor on Dec. 18. That same night just down I-35 in Temple, Shamir posted 18 points
as the No. 16 Eagles took their first District 12-6A win as a ranked team this season.
“I think sometimes people look at him and wonder if he’s going to be as good as Shannon,” said Ellison coach Alberto Jones Jr. of the middle Bogues brother. “But he doesn’t worry about that; he just plays his game — which is a little bit different than his brother’s. He doesn’t worry about trying to be Shannon.”
Shannon, who averages 17 points a game for the Lumberjacks, had been playing basketball in Nacogdoches long before he donned a No. 5 SFA jersey. For the first five years of Shannon’s life, he lived in Nacogdoches while his father, Shannon Sr., ran the ROTC program at SFA.
“There’s a picture that I have, I was probably 1 years old, and I was holding my follow-through,” said Shannon. “But when I was younger, I liked football more. As I started to grow, I got into basketball.
“I fell in love with the game.”
Shamir is similar to Shannon in that he also didn’t pursue basketball at first.
“I was like 4 or 5,” Shamir recalled. “And I didn’t really like it at first; I wasn’t really into sports at the time.
“But then one of my friends — one of my AAU coaches — he used to tell me to play, so I played one time and I liked it ever since.”
Shannon committed to the game and focused on just basketball when he started eighth grade.
Shamir started playing in sixth grade and quickly joined an AAU team.
And while it took them both some time to commit to organized basketball, they grew up playing against each other.
“We used to play in the backyard. Wherever there was a basketball hoop, we’d play,” Shannon said.
BEING A BOGUES
Shamir knows having the Bogues name on an Eagles jersey invites comparisons to Shannon.
“I know they’re going to do it since he game here, too,” said the junior Ellison guard.
“I just figure they’re going to do it.”
But neither brother is concerned about the comparisons, maybe because Shamir is the only left-hand dominant player while both his brothers are right handed.
Or perhaps it’s because both brothers know that their competitive nature is healthy motivation for both of them on the court.
“He’s starting his own legacy, so I don’t worry about it,” said Shannon. “He’s his own person; he does what he wants to do.”
If fans took a closer look, they’d know that these brothers are similar but have their own style of playing the game.
“Every now and then Shamir will do something that looks a bit like Shannon,” said Jones. “Like maybe a hesitation, but their games are different for the most part.
“Shannon was more athletic — shot real good, could get to the rim, dunk on you. Shamir is more of plays real hard, can really play good defense. He can get to the rim also, but Shamir is more of a hustle-back.”
In their parents’ home, their father has an area of the upstairs game room with the gear of all three Bogues brothers — Shannon, Shamir and Shaheim — on display.
There you’ll find Shannon’s jersey from when he played at McLennan, with various medals and plaques around it, along with Shamir and Shaheim’s various medals and awards.
“I know he’s going to get stuff,” said Shamir. “And I’m going to get stuff, so it’s really equal.”
Shannon agreed, noting the display is where they can all just share their accomplishments and memories.
What many fans don’t realize is that the Bogues brothers, despite their distance and parallel season schedules, are always talking basketball.
“We do a lot,” said Shannon. “I watch film and some of his games on Hudl. “And, yeah, I give him tips.”
Some siblings don’t take constructive criticism from an older sibling well, but Shamir knows his older brother knows what he’s talking about and is just trying to help him play to his potential.
“He’ll say, attack this way, jab that way, attack more or pass more,” Shamir said.
Whenever Shamir isn’t playing for the Eagles, he watches Shannon on TV or in person, when he can, and also sends his older brother some tips.
“I tell him stuff he needs to work on,” said Shamir. “And some stuff that he did wrong.”
One thing both brothers share is that they enjoy watching the other play.
“His defense is amazing to me,” said Shannon of Shamir. “I’ve never seen anybody else play defense like he does.
“For him to be my little brother, I’m like, ‘Wow, I need to get my defense like you.’”
As for Shamir, there’s a move his brother does that always gets him pumped up when watching him on the court.
“He does this move, between-the-legs crossover and he pulls up for a jumper,” Shamir explained. “I just know it’s going in every time.
“And then I’m like, ‘Yeah, got ’em.’”
As they wrapped up their H-O-R-S-E contest, the brothers decide to have one last shooting contest — from half court.
They both had air balls on their first attempts.
Shamir went back to the green Eagle at half court, dribbled three times and then launched the ball.
It goes in.
“Game over,” the younger Bogues brother yells as he chased down the ball.
“Not yet,” said Shannon. “Watch.”
The eldest Bogues brother launched a shot of his own and held his follow through. In the empty Ellison gym, the swish echoes as the ball dropped in.
“Told you,” said Shannon, as both brothers laugh knowing their game isn’t finished.
Before Shannon ends his collegiate career, there’s one thing Shamir would like to see him do.
“I kinda want to see him do a 360 in the air,” he said. “I really want to see him do that.”
Shannon nodded, “I got you.”
“I’d go crazy,” said Shamir, smiling back at his brother.
Having had the opportunity to not only watch both brothers play, but coach them, Jones also hopes to see Shannon continue to grow as a player.
“It’s amazing, I’m really proud of him,” Jones said of the eldest Bogues brother. “We watched him play at MCC, then we watched him at SFA a little bit and he’s just gotten so much better.
“When he was here, he was good for us, but we knew he was a late bloomer. We knew he was just breaking the tip of the iceberg.”
As Shamir finishes his junior season and prepares for his last year with the Eagles, both Jones and Shannon want to see the same thing from him — emerge as a leader for Ellison.
“Embrace the moment; you’re only going to get these chances once,” Shannon advised. “Don’t let them blow by. Just enjoy it, play hard and remember why you’re in that moment and live for that moment.
“It’s time to break out of that shell and just take over.”
Jones agreed, adding, “Be a little more vocal, take on a more of a leadership role, because this will probably be his team next year. So be more vocal and help us get a district championship.
“His brother got one, so he’s got to get one.”
As the morning wrapped up, Shannon and Shamir knew their shootaround game could last all day but agreed to call it a draw.
With only three days left in Shannon’s Christmas break back home, the brothers left with plans to probably grab a bite, maybe hit the gym together later, but for sure spend some time playing “Fortnite” or “NBA 2K.”