When he was in elementary and middle school, Jacoby Shade always came to Brownstown Central High School with the hopes of one day playing on the varsity.
Now that he is a key part of the program, he says it is exciting.
“I’ve always been a big fan of basketball,” Shade said. “I always came and watched Brownstown play, so being able to represent the team I’ve grown up watching is a big honor to me.
“As a senior this year it’s about winning every game, anything I can do to win every game. That’s the main goal.”
He said he has enjoyed filling the role of team captain this season.
“That meant a lot to me because that means coach has confidence in my ability to step up and really lead this team,” he said. I want to show them that I can do that.
“When things are not going the way we want them to we in practice — like if we’re not hitting our shots and we’re not working hard enough — we may huddle them up together and tell the guys ‘hey, we need to get going or coach is going to get mad at us.’”
Shade said he began playing basketball when he was in second grade.
“My father actually got a team together in second grade, and we traveled around and played travel ball,” he said. “In middle school I was primarily a post player, but since I got to high school I have become more of a guard/forward.
On the court, Shade is known for his strong shooting ability.
“The way our offense is set up, we have a two-guard front,” Shade said. “We have a point-guard and I’ll be on the opposite side.
“I try to get open in the corners and spaced out and get open shots. I don’t have a preference (shooting from the left side or the right side). I’ll take whatever is open. I would rather play against a man defense. It’s easier to get cuts to the basket.”
Shade has started varsity since his sophomore year, and has been a key part of the Braves’ offense by averaging in double figures all three seasons, including 12 this season in the Braves’ balanced attack, with a high game of 18 against Jennings County.
His career-high is 28 against Clarksville last season. He scored 23 against Scottsburg his sophomore year and has been in the 20s seven times and in double-figures 44 times.
One of the keys to Brownstown’s success over the years has been defense.
“We press full-court most of the time, but we just try to contain them and slow them down, trap in the corners,” Shade said. “We’ve been playing more of a 1-2-2 or a 2-2-1.”
Shade said enjoys facing a different challenge each game.
“There is always a new challenge with each team that you face,” he said. “They always have different personnel, and that’s the challenge of finding ways to overcome their strengths, and force them to their weaknesses.”
Shade received the school free-throw award last season and said it takes concentration and confidence when you step up to the line.
The Braves are 9-1, and Shade said it is going to take teamwork to keep winning.
“It’s going to take our team really coming together, really focusing in practice to get better at what we need to, and not relax and get comfortable with what we’re doing,” he said.
“Practice is important. Practice is where you work on your fundamentals as a team to get ready for the main goal. We scrimmage a lot half court and do situations for a certain amount of time, and it really makes us focus on what could happen in a game.”
Name: Jacoby Shade
Parents: Scott and Jennifer Shade
Sports: Basketball, four years; baseball, one year
Athletic highlights: Basketball — 2014-15: free-throw percentage award (89.4), all-conference; 2013-14: Mid-Southern Conference champions
Organizations: National Honor Society, Booster Club, Lettermen’s Club, choir
Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University Purdue University Columbus, study mechanical engineering
Favorite food: Fajitas
Favorite movie: “Transformers”
Favorite team: Indiana Pacers
Q: What are home games like at BCHS?
A: “They’re really fun. It’s always cool to run downstairs with the drums going and the crowd cheering for you. It’s always exciting.”
Q: Do you have a favorite gym to play in?
A: “Seymour’s gym is probably the coolest. The competition at North Daviess really makes it exciting to go down there. It’s a different type of atmosphere, different type of games down there with the smaller schools. They play different style games than what we normally see.”
Q: How does this year’s schedule shape up?
A: “Every night there is a big crowd there to cheer you on. Just knowing that you come from a rich line of basketball history. It’s really fun to represent the town in basketball. Coach (Dave) Benter said this is probably the toughest he has seen a Brownstown schedule be this year, and we take pride in that, and we want to show that we’re just as good as the other teams we play.”