They say nobody's perfect ...
no single player. But if you take

one's consistency, another's shooting

range, a third's intelligence and a fourth's

skill and confidence, you get a perfect 4

Bobby Prim

Jessica Sell

Ronnie Shaver

Thomas Hooton


The Dominion Post

what makes a perfect high school basketball player?

Someone who averages 25 points a game? Not if he leaves the defense to the Pentagon.

What about a dead-on shooter from 21 feet out? Not if she can't make lay-ups or free throws.

How about someone who contributes 10 assists a game and makes everybody around him a better player? Not if he couldn't score 15 points if he were locked alone in a gymnasium.

So, is there a perfect player? Area high school basketball coaches say the subject isn't worth worrying about, because you're never going to see one.

"There's just too many phases of the game and there's phases within those phases," MHS boys' basketball coach Tom Yester said. "No one player is going to be good at all of them, I don't care how good they are."

University High boys' coach Dick Parsons added that today's players are athletically gifted, but still far short of being perfect.

"Kids today can run and jump like we've never seen before," Parsons said. "The style of the game has changed because of that. But there are some qualities of the game from years gone by that are still in the game today that players are not very good at.

"When I played, kids would catch it and shoot it. Kids today slash to the basket, but you still have to be able to shoot the ball. I think the art of shooting has been lost over the years."

Not only shooting, but how about a little defense and rebounding? What about being able to handle the ball and have the ability to pass it to open teammates? What about scoring from the inside as well as the outside?

There are so many things a "perfect" player must do, and even the greatest ones had weaknesses.

"Hey, Jerry West couldn't go left very well," Yester said. "He went to the right so well that he didn't have to worry about it, but every player has a shortcoming."

That's why it takes more than one to create such a perfect player.

Despite what coaches will tell you, there is a player in the area who is indeed perfect.

That player's name is Ronnie-ThomasBobbyJessica.

No, that's not pig Latin or a code name for a new government top-secret weapon. Those are the first names of four players who, if you combine their talents, become the perfect player.

Ronnie Shaver

Morgantown High's senior forward lends a few of his talents toward the perfect player.

Most importantly, Shaver contributes consistency. Some players will get hot one night and score 20 points. The next game, they score two.

Not Shaver.

"As far as having a complete player, Ronnie is the closest thing we have at Morgantown this year," Yester said.

Throw in defense and rebounding, as well as the ability to run the floor or score in a half-court game, and it's easy to see why Shaver has the Mohigans off to a 3-0 start.

Thomas Hooton

The kid has range.

Although Preston High has started the season 0-4, Hooton has left little doubt he would win a game of H-O-R-S-E between the four players.

"When Thomas is on, he's tough to stop," Preston coach Barry Sanders said.

Reason being, the senior is in shooting range from the minute he steps into the building. He should have to shoot from NBA range in order for it to count as a 3-pointer.

Bobby Prim

If Shaver is Morgantown's Mr. Inside, then Prim is Morgantown's Mr. Outside.

To the perfect player, Prim adds not only his ball-handling and impressive passing skills, but also his intelligence.

"Prim rarely makes a mistake," Yester said. "We call him 'No-Mistake Bobby' in practice. He is an extension of the coach out there on the floor."

Prim's knowledge of how the game is played is an extremely important factor not seen in many of today's players. His no-look passes are an added bonus.

Jessica Sell

What? A girl helps make the perfect player?

Shooting, defense, passing -- all of that has been covered with the three previous players.

What Sell adds may be the most important two ingredients for any player's resume -- skill and confidence.

Whatever North Marion's Ms. Everything feels like doing on a basketball court, that's what she does.

Sell scores 30 points a night for the Huskies, most of it because she has superior talent, but also superior confidence.

"Jessica is Jessica. She feels like she's going to make every shot, that's just the way she is," said Rick Sell, Jessica's father and coach.

After all, she's going to North Carolina for a reason.

ur perfect player, however, is saying no thanks to the Tar Heels. We're not taking any visits to Duke or Kentucky, either.

Our player has just three letters in mind -- N-B-A.

Great, another high school kid skipping college for the lure of the big bucks.

Maybe perfect was too strong a word.