Early Leader For Blair's Spears

Blair Academy and North Carolina native Shamari Spears is a name to file away. The 6-foot-5 forward has an early leader and a bunch of offers.

Last season, Shamari Spears averaged 23 points a game for Joe Mantegna's Blair Academy squad. The 6-foot-5 combo forward hasn't decided on a traveling team just yet but he's excited to get out on the circuit and build on the momentum he gained from a fine junior season.

Spears had to get adjusted to his role at Blair and once he figured some things out, he began to excel in the classroom and on the court.

"I thought it was about scoring the most points and that was it," Spears said. "But then coach told me that if I was the best player he told me I had to be the best off the court as well. I started improving in the classroom, working hard and being a better player.

"I didn't want to let my team down. I took on the role that if we were losing it was my fault and I had to do something about it. I was going to do anything for my team to win … the big games, the little games, it didn't matter."

Blair's fine season ended in a semifinal loss to St. Benedict's.

Most schools are recruiting Spears as a "player." He's hard to pigeonhole position-wise. "A lot of coaches say I don't have a position because I can go inside and outside," Spears said. "Most just say that I'm a player. That's what a lot of them say."

As it stands now, Virginia Tech has sprinted out to an early lead. "I have a great relationship with Coach Greenberg," Spears said. "Also I know some of the players off the team. I've known Carlos Dixon since I was little."

Tech isn't the only program showing interest. Clemson, Miami, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Villanova, Marquette and St. John's have made it clear they intend to recruit him.

"I'm probably going to wait until after the summer and play it by ear. I'll see if I get any new opportunities."

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