Ronald Ellis and Shawn Davis were two of the best outside shooters in the parish

Ellis played at Vidalia High before signing with Grambling.

Davis helped lead Ferriday to a state championship in 1988 before signing with Oklahoma State and transferring to Louisiana Tech.

Both Ellis and Davis are now coaching high school basketball in the Miss-Lou.

And both are not crazy about their players watching an NBA basketball game.

To my ultimate surprise, Ellis told me the most 3-pointers he shot at Vidalia High was two in a game.

“A lot of times I wouldn’t shoot one at all,” he said. “Back then if you missed one or two your teammates would be looking at you strange. That’s just how it was back then.”

Ellis, who graduated from Vidalia High in 2000, said too many high school players want to “jack it up”

“And most can’t shoot,” he said. “The NBA players practice it all the time. Every high school player is not practicing that much. It looks bad when they keep putting it up.”

In the NBA Finals, Boston made 92 of 257 3-point shots. That’s six games or just over 40 a game.

Golden State made 86 of 211. But everyone is not a Stephen Curry.

Davis just completed his first year as a head coach at Ferriday High. While he could hit nothing but net from the outside on most jump shots, the Trojan legend doesn’t like what today’s high schoolers are bringing to the court.

“The NBA, and even international games, have changed the whole complexion of the game,” Davis said. “I’m seeing guys 6-5, 220 pounds on the break stopping and taking a 3-point shot. I’m not a fan. They’ve forgotten all about the two-point shot, even though they still make more. It’s hard to coach the kids out of it.”

In the just-completed NBA Finals, Golden State defeated Boston four games to two.

Boston set the record for most 3-pointers in a post-season.

But in this NBA. postseason, it is Golden State’s finals opponent, Boston, that has made more 3-pointers than any team in playoff history. The Celtics set the record with 324 in the series.

Golden State held the previous record from its 2016 playoff run. 

Golden State has been given credit for changing basketball’s conventional wisdom about offense. Instead of working hard to get shots near the rim and using the 3-pointer as a weapon of last resort, the offense would be geared toward elite perimeter shooting.  

During the first quarter of Game 1 against the Celtics, Curry hit the most 3-pointers in an NBA Finals quarter and tied the playoffs mark dating back to at least the 1997 season with 6 3-pointers.

The Warriors and Celtics set one record from Game 1 of the NBA Finals. On the strength of 21 from the Celtics and 19 from the Warriors, Boston and Golden State combined to score the most 3-point shots at 40 in Boston’s 120-108 win. That surpassed the combined 35 between the Cavaliers and Warriors in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals.

Trailing the Celtics 2-1 in the Finals, Curry exploded for 43 points and 10 rebounds to lead Golden State to a 107-97 victory in Boston. He knocked down seven 3s, the third-most ever in a Finals game.

Curry was nothing short of brilliant in the 2022 NBA Finals, averaging 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists on 48.2 percent shooting from the field and 43.7 percent from 3-point range.

Former Vidalia High baseball coaching legend Robert Sanders saw the trend years ago before he retired in 2020.

“Even when I was coaching the kids would rather take a 3 — an NBA  at that — than drive for a two-pointer or even take an easy 3,” Sanders said. “It’s taken away from learning how to shoot free throws, as well.”

Sanders said he rarely watches NBA games.

“They make the same number of mistakes high school players make,” Sanders said.

Sanders said he is enjoying retirement.

“I like sitting in the bleachers with the other coaches,” Sanders said with a laugh.


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