The decision between football or basketball

Most young men that are fortunate enough to be recruited by colleges oftentimes experience the emotional hardships that come along with making a commitment decision. For one talented prospect in Utah, that hardship is compounded by the fact that he has the opportunity to possibly play two sports he loves.

As the top-ranked 5A team in Utah, Lone Peak High School will make a run for a second straight state championship. Lone Peak is currently 12-2 and ranked 23rd nationally by ESPN.

The Knights recently played in the Myrtle Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina, losing in the championship game.

"It's the second biggest tournament in the country that's held during the season," said Talon Shumway, who plays guard for the Knights. "There've been a lot of NBA guys that have played there. Nick Emery, our point guard, broke four tournament records for the 30-year old tournament. It was like scoring, free-throws, three pointers and one other record. He shattered Kobe Bryant's record and Michael Bibby's record, so that was crazy. "

On a team full of some high-powered scorers, Shumway fills a different need.

"I play kind of a different role on this team than I would on a different team," Shumway said. "I'm more of a defensive type player on the team. We just try and keep everything working and let T.J. [Haws] and Nick do their thing. But I like it."

The 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound junior guard averages two blocks and two steals per game. Despite being more of a defensive specialist, Shumway can hold his own when it comes to offense, as he is averaging 13 points and three assists per game.

While Lone Peak is still in the process of defending its state title, Shumway is already expecting big things from the team next year.

"Yeah, I've got one more year after this year and we should be really good next year too," Shumway said. "We'll have Eric [Mika] playing with us and T.J., Nick and me coming back next year. We should be pretty talented next year and we're going to try and win a three-peat championship. That's an opportunity that doesn't come around very often."

While Haws, Emery and Mika have all verbally committed to play for BYU head coach Dave Rose, Shumway has yet to make a commitment. He's actually been offered to play football by both BYU and Utah.

"There's kind of a thing there with basketball," Shumway said. "My understanding there is the basketball program is convinced that I'm 100 percent football, and so they're kind of scared to offer me because they don't think that I'll play.

Apparently, BYU has nevertheless apparently expressed a desire for Shumway to play basketball.

"Their stance on that is if I decide that I want to play basketball and I tell them that, then they'll offer me."

If he were to choose to play basketball for BYU, Shumway would be joining with three of his Lone Peak teammates. Still, choosing between football and basketball is difficult for him.

"I have no idea what I want to do. I've tried thinking about it and I don't know what I want to do. I don't really know how I'm going to come to a decision, but I'm sure there will be a lot of things that go into figuring out what I want to do. It's a little stressful but I'm sure I'll get there."

Shumway is going to wait a little while before making a decision.

"I'm going to play this season and I think that will help me more," he said. "After this basketball season I'll have a better idea, but right now I'm kind of stuck. My plan was to come into the past year and play football and then basketball to kind of figure out what I want to do, but it was kind of hard because I pretty much played the entire football season injured.

"It wasn't a serious injury but it just kind of ruined it for me on a personal level, and so I'm getting back healthy for basketball and so it's kind of uneven on what I want to do."

The BYU football coaching staff is still showing a lot of interest in Shumway.

"They offered me last year and they still keep good contact," Shumway said. "They stay a lot closer than Utah does. I don't know, it seems like BYU wants more face time with me to just kind of get it into my head more, but it doesn't have that much more bearing on what happens."

It's unknown what position Shumway would play for BYU if he chose football.

"When they offered me they just told me that they were recruiting me as an athlete," Shumway said. "They said they would figure out where I would play later. When I went to BYU's Junior Day last May, Coach Mendenhall called me into his office and told me he wanted me to play wide receiver."

While he's still weighing in his mind which sport he wants to play, Shumway holds those schools that have offered him in the sport of football high on his list.

"I don't have a whole lot of offers, but I value the ones that I have as high on my list," he said.

In addition to his offers from BYU and Utah, other schools have shown some interest in Shumway.

"I get a lot of letters, but that doesn't mean a whole lot unless I get an abnormal amount," said Shumway. "Oregon writes me a lot, and so my coach is going to call when he can to see if they have any real intentions with me. Other than that, when scouts are in the area or at my school, they'll talk to me. Spring seems to bring out more activity, so we'll see what happens then."

With seven basketball games left in the regular season, it won't be long before Shumway will have to decide if he'll put his talents to use on the court or on the field.

"Well, I'm starting to think about things a little more," said Shumway. "I have to start figuring things out because I want to make a decision before the summer, so I only have a few months to do that. I just don't want to go into my senior season still wondering, and then halfway through the year I'm going to get ready to go on my mission. That way I can just leave right after high school, and so I just want to be committed before my senior year so I don't have to worry about everything."


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