Four-time NBA All-Star and Vincennes University alumnus Shawn Marion is no stranger to VU and its successful basketball program. He is ranked second on the all-time lists with 1,685 points and 923 rebounds between his time here from 1996-1998. So it was no surprise when the stands were packed Jan. 15 to honor him at halftime of the men’s game.
Returning to VU was a shock to Marion because the campus had changed so much.
“The campus here is not like [any] junior college, never was, and now it’s even crazier than when I was here. That’s been 22 years ago, it’s really like a Division 1 school now,” he said during a pre-game interview.
Returning to campus and seeing the changes was really big for him because it shows that the college and the basketball program has kept advancing and come a long way.
“When I was here there were a lot of people in the stands coming to watch us,” he said.
It is still that way today the crowds for men’s basketball games are big, maybe not as big as they were back then but they are still large.
There were many players he competed against while playing for VU that he also faced in the NBA, which he said was awesome. It really shows that you can get your foundation and start your base at a smaller college and go on to whatever you decide to do.
Although he had a very successful career here at VU, it didn’t start or end with his time at VU. Marion made a pretty smooth transition from high school to junior college to NBA level basketball and said that the coaching staff at each level was a big part of that. Especially the coaching staff here at VU who had a lot in mind for each of the members of the team and wanted to get them to the next level. There was also the team atmosphere that felt more like a family where everyone helped everyone on and off the court, he said.
This helped him to see that he could make it where he wanted to go, which was the NBA.
When asked about when he truly knew he wanted to do this he stated,
“I kinda got that 411 pretty early in my career.”
His coach let him know that he could come out after his first year and be picked early in the draft pick, but Marion declined because he said he was just having too much fun in school. He knew that if he gave that up too early he couldn’t go back and do it again because it would be too late.
When students and other fans walk into the gym and see his jersey, there is one thing Marion wants everyone to remember about him.
“I left it all out on the floor,” he said
He was able to get an education in school and also more of an education on the game while still having fun, which is what he wants the players now to do. Enjoy the time they have here at this school and enjoy the memories they make not only as individuals, but also the ones they make as a team. Because in the words of Marion,
“You can’t put a price on that.”