Bronx point guard one to track

At the core of every winning college basketball team is strong point guard play. Year in and year out, analysts across the television dial pronounce that 'guards win in March.' It's for that very reason that college coaches search far and wide for skilled floor generals. Shavar Newkirk, a 2014 point guard out of Cardinal Hayes (NY), fits that bill.

On Wednesday, Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with Hayes head coach Joe Lods.

Toughness, confidence, and savvy are among the requisite characteristics of a successful point guard, regardless of level. 5'11 junior point guard Shavar Newkirk, from The Bronx's Cardinal Hayes, possesses those skills, and more, according to his high school coach, Joe Lods.

"Shavar is the most confident player I've ever coached," began Lods, who coached at Hofstra prior to his current stint at Cardinal Hayes. "I never had a player who liked the big game more, liked the spotlight more, wanted to play against the top opponents more. At the end of games, everything went through him."

In a 67-66 win over Molloy in the CHSSA quarterfinals, Shavar poured in 28 points, hammering home Lods' message that his star point guard lives for the bright lights. On the year, Shavar averaged just over 17 points per game and earned The New York Daily News' Player of the Year honors in the Bronx.

While Newkirk oozes with confidence on the court, according to Lods, he's slightly different once he leaves the gym. "Off the court, he's quiet, humble, and unassuming," Lods stated. "He's a man of few words, but when he talks everyone knows to listen. He says all the right things."

After having a strong junior year at Cardinal Hayes, Newkirk is continuing his impressive play this spring on the travel circuit with Team Scan. Scan has a number of high-level, high-major players on its roster, including junior wing Terry Larrier, junior shooting guard Rashard Figures, and sophomore sensation Cheick Diallo.. Shavar is the engine for that team, averaging roughly 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in the EYBL.

A number of schools are actively involved in Shavar's recruitment, including St. Joe's. "He's going to visit St. Joe's at the end of the month," Lods told Hawk Hill Hardwood. "He's really looking forward to it. He's seriously considering SJU."

Lods went on, saying that he thought that Shavar could likely "land in the Atlantic 10 somewhere." He went on, saying, "You'd have no idea he's a freshman if he went to an A10 school. He would have no fear in the A10."

After watching Shavar Newkirk during the two April live periods, the Saint Joseph's coaching staff extended an offer his way. With a visit looming at the end of the month, it's clear that the 5'11 Bronx native is one that head Hawk Phil Martelli has near the top of his wish list.

Stay tuned to Hawk Hill Hardwood throughout the summer for the latest on Shavar's recruitment.

Hawk Hill Hardwood Top Stories