The Capitol City Classic basketball tournament is back at Willamette University. DAVID DAVIS / Statesman JournalBuy Photo
Blanchet Catholic School senior Mike Bashaw on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. (Photo: MOLLY J. SMITH / Statesman Journal)Buy Photo
Mike Bashaw cut to the basket and leapt into the air to catch a pass from point guard R.J. Veliz.
In the heavy traffic in the key of the game in January against Salem Academy, however, Bashaw lost his balance and landed with a sickening thud.
“It was so loud,” Veliz said.
The previously vocal crowd went silent.
Bashaw was helped off the court and didn’t come back in the game, but afterward was walking around and was fine.
“You think just by looking at him he’s not the biggest kid, doesn’t have the most meat on his bones, but he’s tough,” Blanchet coach Max Goodman said. “He’s resilient.”
Now a senior swingman on Blanchet’s basketball team, Bashaw credits his mother, Sherrie, with helping him become the type of athlete who can bounce back like that.
“She just helps me push through everything,” Mike Bashaw said. “She made me toughen up, I’d say.”
Sherrie Bashaw has been Blanchet’s volleyball coach since 1999 and guided the program to state championships in 2008 and 2009. Mike’s grandmother, Barbara McIntosh, was the head volleyball coach at Dallas from 1976 to 1992.
They’re two of the winningest volleyball coaches in Oregon history.
Bashaw was a late bloomer.Buy Photo
Blanchet's Mike Bashaw pushes past Salem Academy's Zach Aldrich in a game on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, at Blanchet Catholic School. Salem Academy won the matchup 53-42. (Photo: MOLLY J. SMITH / Statesman Journal)
He didn’t crack Blanchet’s varsity basketball roster until his junior year.
And then he was voted a first-team all-PacWest Conference player after averaging 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game.
When Goodman was hired as Blanchet head coach before this season, one of his first priorities was to figure out how to best combine the talents of Veliz – a first-team all-state player – and Bashaw – in whom he saw potential as his JV coach two years ago.
Goodman didn’t have to do much as the two were working on it on their own.
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In their game against Rainier Tuesday, Veliz scored 34 points and Bashaw 24.
Against Regis earlier this season, Veliz passed the ball to Bashaw off the backboard on a fast break, and Bashaw put it in.
“I think that we’ve taken another step forward as a duo,” Veliz said. “We’re both playing really good together. I kind of know where he’s going to be, he knows where I’m going to be.
“I think our chemistry has taken a step forward, even as a team, too, from last year.”
Bashaw has likely spent more time at Blanchet Catholic School than anyone else.
A generation of students saw the skinny kid hanging around the gym at games and practices.
“I remember when I was in high school and here for practice we were seeing little Mikey running around and chasing down balls,” said Goodman, who graduated from the school in 2008.
“I can’t even imagine how many hours he’s spent around here. He grew up here, and it’s pretty cool to see things go full circle from the kid tagging along to being the big man on campus.”
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He comes from a lineage of athletes. His father, David, ran track and field at Oregon,; his mother played volleyball at Corban and older sisters Kelsey (Gonzaga) and Katie (Western Oregon) played college volleyball.
Bashaw has an opportunity to do some travelling next summer.
He’s earned an invitation to play on the NBC Basketball Travel Team that is making a two-week trip to play games in England next summer.Buy Photo
Blanchet Catholic School senior Mike Bashaw on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. (Photo: MOLLY J. SMITH / Statesman Journal)
When people first see Bashaw, they notice how thin he is.
He admits to weighing 150 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame.
Goodman points out that Bashaw has spent a good deal of time in the weight room the past two summers preparing to play football (he was a first-team all-PacWest Conference receiver and kicker this fall).
When Bashaw gets the opportunity, he displays his unexpected strength.
“I feel like he’s gotten stronger, he may not look like it,” Veliz said. “When he takes it in, he finishes strong. He’s like Kevin Durant and guys like that.”
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com or Twitter.com/bpoehler
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