By Kevin Clack, Sports Editor
Newman basketball’s newest forward Marshawn Blackmon has received the Heartland Conference Player of the Week award twice this season.
His first win came back for his efforts in November against Manhattan Christian. Blackmon averaged 25.5 points while going a perfect five for five from the free throw line in a 97-51 victory over the Thunder.
Blackmon continued this against Emporia State with 26 points and 15 rebounds, giving him his second double-double of the season.
The junior grabbed the award for the second time after helping the Jets take down Rockhurst in an 85-81 overtime victory.
Blackmon recorded 22 points scoring in double figures for the 11th time during those past 12 games.
“If we didn’t win those games, then I probably wouldn’t have gotten those awards,” Blackmon said. “So, it was definitely a team effort.”
But Blackmon hasn’t always been a Jet. He originally signed with the Panthers basketball team at Eastern Illinois, a D1 University.
“My freshman year, I didn’t play a lot, because usually freshmen don’t get a lot of playing time,” he said. “My sophomore year, I got injured, so I couldn’t play.”
Blackmon said he still wasn’t fully recovered from his injury when he transferred to Moberly Community College as a sophomore, so he still didn’t get a lot of playing time.
Now Blackmon’s at Newman and back feeling at a 100 percent, and he said he’s ready to capitalize on any opportunities that come his way.
Men’s basketball guard Anthony Harvey Jr. said Blackmon is the type of player every team wants to have.
“He knows who to scout. He knows who he’s guarding. And he knows how to play,” he said. “He’s a very unselfish teammate who enjoys seeing everyone succeed.”
Outside the court, Harvey said, you can catch Blackmon always laughing and saying something funny, If you’re lucky, you also might catch a melody or two.
“He just a different guy. He’s a character, and there’s never a dull moment around Shawn,” Harvey said.
Blackmon said he knows he has found a home at Newman and said he is ready to work to help the Jets make a little history before they move to a new conference.
“My individual and team goal is to obviously to win the conference,” he said. “This is the last we’re going to be in this conference, and Newman’s never won it before.”
The men’s basketball team hit the road Wednesday to face Lubbock Christian today. They’ll wrap up their road trip Saturday in Oklahoma City against Oklahoma Christian University.
PHOTO: MARSHAWN BLACKMON originally signed with the Panthers basketball team at Eastern Illinois. Courtesy Photo, Newman Athletics