In the waning moments of Evans High School’s subregion title win against Lakeside Saturday, Matlin Marshall showed one of the attributes he hopes will lead him into the family business one day.
With the Knights nursing a one-point lead, the junior guard rifled a cross-court pass to Kameron Mason who drained a key 3-pointer as the Knights held off the Panthers for the 66-57 win.
Months earlier, it was Marshall the starting quarterback who threw a 45-yard game-winning pass to Joacinto Grimes with 21 seconds remaining to bring the Knights back from the precipice of defeat, beating the Panthers 26-21.
Given a choice of which sport he could play, the easy choice is football for Marshall, who hopes one day to follow in the footsteps of his father Marvin and uncle Arthur who played in the National Football League.
“It’s my passion to play professional football like they did and just accomplish so much like they did,” Marshall said.
During the 2013-14 basketball season, Marshall has played a role coming off the bench for the Knights and head coach Kevin Kenny, making spot starts when needed.
While not starting, he plays substantial minutes and averages 12 points and two steals per game.
“It’s great to have a kid like him because most people’s sixth man is an offensive player or a defender, but he’s the whole package,” said Kenny, who added that Marshall would probably start for most teams in the area. “With him being a quarterback, he’s a leader and that helps, too.”
While he’d like to start, Marshall does what is asked of him and takes advantage of his time on the hardwood.
“I do whatever I can to help my team win because it’s not about me, it’s about them - the Evans Knights - winning,” Marshall said. “I’m blessed just to have the opportunity.”
Marshall made the most of the opportunity when he got his first start at quarterback as a sophomore, claiming the position after leading the Knights to an overtime win against Greenbrier. One of his main goals is to lead the Knights to the state playoffs and he can see that they’re heading in the right direction.
“ That year (2012) we went 3-7, this year we went 5-5,” he said.
Being around the world of professional football as a pre-teen and seeing how players went about their preparation was an experience he uses to this day.
“I just feel I have that advantage over everybody because my dad and uncle were professionals and I get to learn from them,” Marshall said. “All I have to do is listen.”