Christian embraces role as playmaker
Published 3:00 am Thursday, January 14, 2016
Whether on the football field or the basketball court, Marquese Christian is a playmaker.
The Pike Liberal Arts senior was one of the state’s best wide receivers this year, hauling in 63 catches for six touchdowns and earning a first-team all state AISA nomination.
“It was huge,” Christian said. “It was a surprise last year because I had never heard of it. This year it was unbelievable because everything happened really fast.”
Moreover, football wasn’t Christian’s first sport. He grew up playing basketball.
“I have been playing basketball since I was 9 years old,” Christian said. “My mom would be out in the yard, and we would play and go at it. It has been something that I have really loved.”
The excitement of the game and Christian’s flair of playmaking is what draws him closer to the game of basketball, and he’s just as much a catalyst as he was in football.
“I love doing flashy moves,” Christian said. “I love to hear the crowd go ‘ooh and ahh.’ One person has the ability to control the game, and I think that’s why I love it so much.”
In an age of flashy dunks and three-pointers that come from outside, Christian loves to be a facilitator. Although Christian has averaged double figures in scoring in his senior season, he is always looking for the perfect pass to set up a teammate.
“Most people think that I love to score,” Christian said. “I actually love to see my teammates score. I love to dish the ball off. If I see a teammate wide open, I am going to give him the ball. I love passing the ball.”
Christian does enjoy an exciting play and being able to dunk to get the crowd going is something that he longs for in his senior year.
“I haven’t done it yet this season, but a put-back dunk I feel would set everybody off,” Christian said. “I tried to do it last game, but the ball got stuck. I love jumping, and I love getting rebounds.”
It’s no surprise that Christian has a flare for excitement and that is something that draws him to the game of basketball. Unlike football, where the fans are pushed a little further back, basketball offers a more intimate setting where the fans can be loud and right on top of you.
Pike Lib’s student section, Ponder’s Posse, aims to be as loud as any student section in the county. Whether singing or chanting or just being loud, Christian believes the crowd’s impact on the team is crucial.
“I love it,” Christian said. “If it’s a dead crowd, I am not into it. If the student section is loud, I am going to raise my hands and get into it. I love it.”
After all the success in his years at Pike, the impact the coaches have had on Christian is what drives his success.
“Coach Allen has been here since I was a freshman,” Christian said. “I have been with him for winning and losing seasons. He has always been there for me. Coach Ponder relates more with me. He understands when I am frustrated. He knows me really well.”