The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
When Lamar State College-Port Arthur head coach Lance Madison cobbled together a last-minute basketball team before his first season in 2012, little could he foretell the success this mish-mash group of young men would bring to the Seahawks program.
But now, two years later, three more examples of that success played out in the Parker Center when sophomores Anthony Allen, Jamal Shabazz and Evan White signed letters of intent to play for four-year universities next season.
After graduating from LSC-PA this spring, Allen heads to Oklahoma State University, Shabazz to Samford University and White to Oklahoma City University.
“Deciding where to go was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Allen, who chose OSU over Memphis. “Coming to Lamar-Port Arthur gave me the chance to learn so much. I learned things that helped me get to this point where I can continue to follow my dream to play basketball.”
Allen, a 7-foot-1 center, set numerous school records while leading the nation in blocked shots both his freshman and sophomore seasons. The Kingston, Jamaica native collected 191 blocked shots during his sophomore campaign, breaking his own school record of 155 blocks set a year ago.
Both of those marks led the nation among NJCAA Division I players. Allen, who announced his decision to join OSU during the LSC-PA annual All-Sports Banquet, also set school records for triple-double games in a season with five, double-double performances with 18, and blocked shots in a game with 14 vs. Blinn College on Jan. 25, 2014.
Shabazz came to LSC-PA as a defensive sniper of sorts, fighting for rebounds on both ends of the court while doing his best to give his team’s guards the opportunity to score at-will. During his sophomore season, he became a more rounded athlete, becoming as much a scoring threat as a force on the boards.
Shabazz, who hails from Pflugerville, selected Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, based on the idea that he would be able to make an immediate impact.
“There is an opportunity for me to step up right away at Samford,” Shabazz, a 6-6 forward, said. “I wanted to go somewhere where I can be successful and continue on what I started here at Lamar-Port Arthur.”
He leaves LSC-PA after setting an all-time two-year mark for rebounds with 476 during his career at LSC-PA. He averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds a game his sophomore year as the Seahawks collected their best-ever regular season record of 24-6.
San Antonio native White, another two-year veteran at Lamar State-PA, is heading to the NAIA’s Oklahoma City University next fall where he will play guard for the Stars.
“I’m a big-city guy so I’m excited to head to a big city again,” White said. “Don’t get me wrong though. I feel like I was able to come out of my shell here in Port Arthur and being here gave me the chance to become more confident, on the court and in other areas of my life.”
White played in all 32 of the Seahawks’ games his sophomore year, starting 17. He averaged 7.9 points a game with his best performance this past season coming against Angelina College where he had 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Tuesday’s signing event marks the first time LSC-PA has had three major college scholarship signings in a single day. Sophomore Tre Bennett, from Houston, inked his scholarship with Indiana State University before the Seahawks’ 2013-14 season.
In the aftermath, he earned the college’s first-ever NJCAA All-American recognition.