The early hours of the morning may be a hard time for any teenager to react to news, even via text message.
But that’s exactly what happened to Shoemaker senior Shane Johnson. Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett contacted Johnson on Wednesday morning to deliver the news that he was a state all-star.
“Luckily I had been up at the time when he told me,” Johnson said. “It’s just cool to play again and get another opportunity.”
Johnson was selected to play for the North All-Stars in the Texas High School Coaches Association’s All-Star Basketball Game on July 21 at the Alamo Convention Center in San Antonio. The all-star teams are comprised of players from all classifications across the state.
The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will be held in conjunction with THSCA’s Coaching School and Convention in San Antonio July 20-23.
For Johnson, the honor is just the latest he’s earned during a successful senior year.
He was also a named to the Killeen Daily Herald’s All-Area Boys Basketball First Team as well as the All-District 8-5A first team.
“It feels like it’s up there,” Johnson said. “Probably more than being first team all-district and stuff.”
Prichett said the honor is a well-deserved one for Johnson.
“I was extremely excited,” Prichett said. “It was something I knew he deserved. As soon as I heard the news, I had to call him right away.”
The Grey Wolves were supposed to be going through a rebuilding year in 2013-14. Prichett moved from being a Shoemaker assistant to being head coach, the team needed to replace three starters and Johnson was one of only four returners from the 2012-13 Grey Wolves.
But the team excelled.
“Just playing with this team I had is the best feeling, and having that coach,” Johnson said.
Johnson took the new role and excelled, averaging 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists per game while helping Shoemaker finish second in District 8-5A. Shoemaker nearly pulled off an upset of No. 5 South Grand Prairie in the first round of the playoffs.
Prichett said Johnson is a complete team player and sacrificed individual stats for the good of the team.
“Shane gave up probably eight points a game just to sacrifice his game to make sure his teammates were put in a position to score and to give us a chance to be successful,” Prichett said.
And the postseason was the best place to show off his skills as Johnson led the team with 19 points in a 64-61 overtime loss.
Johnson helped the Grey Wolves overcome a 16-point second-half deficit to force overtime. Johnson scored five of the final eight Shoemaker points of regulation, including free throws that tied the game at 55 and put the Grey Wolves ahead 56-55 with 1:35 remaining.
For Johnson, that playoff performance served as a wake-up call to hoops fans around the area that the Grey Wolves basketball program has arrived, and the returners should learn from the experience.
“That built our rep up more and we got more respect, but we should have still won by a lot,” Johnson said. “We could have won by a lot.”