ST. GEORGE – A Pine View High School basketball player will be receiving the National High School Spirit of Sport award on Friday, March 4, at a Weber State University basketball game.
The basketball player is junior Skyler Marshall, and he’s not winning the award because of being the star of the team. Marshall is winning the award because he has courage and a positive attitude.
Marshall has a disability that even his parents aren’t quite sure what it is. But that doesn’t matter to him. He loves basketball.
“He’s stuck with something that he loves,” Skyler’s mom Michelle Marshall said. “Hopefully he’ll play basketball again next year as a senior.”
Skyler’s dad Ryan Marshall said over the years as Skyler Marshall has grown up the players have gotten to know him.
“It started back in eighth grade when [Skyler] tried out for the border league,” Ryan Marshall said. “The coaches came to us and said everybody wanted him on the team. [The players] have all gotten along with him.”
He said the first game where Skyler Marshall was able to come in and play for Pine View was last year against Dixie High School. Ryan Marshall said the atmosphere was rather negative as Pine View was being beat. That’s when the Panthers turned to Skyler Marshall.
“One of the players told the coach to put Skyler in,” Ryan Marshall said. “[Dixie] beat us in football, so all the student body started chanting, ‘Just like football. Just like football.’ They brought Skyler into the game, and it just all changed. Everybody was cheering.”
Even though Skyler Marshall’s appearance in the game did not spark any kind of amazing comeback, he still had a highlight play. Just before the final buzzer sounded Skyler Marshall put up a shot from close to the free-throw line that went in. Both the Dixie and Pine View fans cheered loudly for Skyler Marshall.
Michelle Marshall said she is so proud of Skyler Marshall’s desire to do what he wants to do.
She said one of the things Skyler Marshall really enjoys is announcing basketball games. She said he would like to do that.
“Charles Barkley, watch out,” she said.
Skyler Marshall smiled and laughed at the comment. He was also quick to say the Utah Jazz is his favorite basketball team.
Both Ryan and Michelle Marshall said how grateful they were to the coaches and other teams for encouraging Skyler Marshall to continue playing.