Shay Straughn Joins Family in 1,000-Point Club
JM standout reaches same milestone as her father, brother
MOUNDSVILLE — What started out as a simple game in the driveway has blossomed into a special bond that will live on in the Straughn family forever.
A father, a son and a daughter, all connected by the game of basketball, have each left their mark on a sport they love so much.
On Dec. 17, John Marshall senior Shay Straughn joined her father (Shawn) and her brother (Taylor) in the 1,000-point club as she scored 27 points to lead the Monarchs to a victory against rival Brooke.
Shawn, a member of both the Bishop Donahue and Wheeling Jesuit Basketball Halls of Fame, finished his high school career with 1,246 points, while Taylor, a three-time all-stater, is the top scorer in Bishop Donahue history with 1,730 points.
Now, Shay has continued the tradition of greatness, reaching the milestone by simply picking up where they left off.
“When we were younger, we used to play in our backyard on our basketball hoop,” Shay said. “We are all three super competitive and being able to watch Taylor in high school made me a lot better by seeing what he does. I always wanted to be better than him, so I had to work as hard as I could but he encouraged me more to go into the gym during my time off.
“My dad, too. Just (last week) in a win against Weir where I didn’t shoot well at all, he was telling me ways that I could improve my shot.”
In a household with so much basketball knowledge and raw talent, it might have seemed like an easy task for Taylor and Shay to succeed on the court, but nothing in the Straughn family was done without a strong work ethic.
“We both got it from our dad,” Taylor said. “He has spent countless hours working with us and if it wasn’t for him, neither of us probably would have reached that goal.
“But growing up, Shay and I would always shoot together in the backyard, so I’d like to say I taught her a lot of what she knows.”
The work put in behind the scenes can also be seen by more than just the Straughn family and nobody has witnessed it more than John Marshall coach Brock Melko.
“Her work ethic is unbelievable and so is her attitude and unselfishness,” Melko said. “She’s been perfect. This is my third year coaching her and I have her in class at school. She is in AP Statistics and she has been the perfect player, the perfect student and she has made my life easy as a coach.”
Even though Shay kept the 1,000-point family tradition alive, she made her own path to the destination.
With Shawn and Taylor both showcasing their skills at Bishop Donahue, Taylor made the move from Class A to Class AAA following her freshman campaign when she received the news that the school was closing.
In just one season with the Bishops, Shay tallied 315 points.
“It was a nice move,” Shawn said. “She moved because Bishop Donahue was closing and I had to tell her that playing against bigger schools meant playing against bigger and better players, too.
“She took on the challenge and it was fun to watch her do it.”
Along the journey, perhaps the MVP of the Straughn family is Taylor and Shay’s mother, Paula, who has been their number one fan.
“Shay’s mother has spent a lot of time following them around and watching them play,” Shawn said.
The support that Paula has shown has also seemed to rub off on her daughter, making her a more supportive teammate.
“My mom always tells me that she gave me my cheerleader talent,” Shay said. “I have to give a shoutout to her for being awesome and for being my mom.”
Although, it was Shay who made history that night, she has also been gifted very supportive teammates who helped make her memorable night so special.
“Just having the teammates that I have really helped me,” Shay said. “I think they were just as excited that night as I was to reach that goal. You could tell on their faces that they were genuinely happy, so it showed me how much they care about me. That was an overwhelming feeling.”
As the buckets continue to fall and goals are reached on the hardwood, it is the memories made and the people that his children have become off the court that Shawn cherishes the most.
“It’s been a pleasure watching them grow up playing basketball and seeing them score their points,” Shawn said. “But most of all, I am very proud of them for being good kids and good students.
“I know they take pride in what they do. Our talks have always been about playing fundamental basketball, being good teammates and hard work and they have worked tremendously hard.”