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Union Boundary


Michiah McQuarters Going Strong at Union

By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer

MICHIAH McQUARTERS


Courtesy Union Public Schools


It is a season of transition for Union’s Michiah McQuarters. But it hasn’t been too difficult.  

Having played basketball since seventh grade, the Redskins’ senior guard is from a strong sports family. His uncle is R.W. McQuarters who starred in football at Oklahoma State. Michiah is doing a lot, averaging 16 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots per game, contributing to the team’s 8-3 record and a No. 10 ranking in 6A boys.

McQuarters was the six-man in Union’s lineup last year when the team went unscathed until the state semifinals before losing in an upset to Booker T. Washington. He recalls the pain of that loss.

“It was really difficult,” McQuarters says. “Halftime, I think, is what got us. We thought we had it in the bag. We came out and we were kind of down and let them get going, and we shouldn’t have let them. After the game, it was of hard having played with the seniors and letting them go with the loss.”

And how it carried over.

“The next day, I didn’t even come out of my room,” he says. “It was real disappointing. Everybody thought we were going to win it. To go undefeated and to lose to a team that we beat the week before by 20 points, it was disappointing.”

Four seniors were lost to graduation from that team, elevating McQuarters into a starting role.

“It’s (transitioning) been going pretty good,” he says. “We’ve had some tough losses, but I think we’re coming together as a team. With me being a leader, I think that’s a big role for me coming from being a sixth-man last year, so that’s been a big calling on me. I think I’ve adapted pretty well, but I got ways to go as the season gets deeper.”
Being a starter and having his named called out on the PA is a childhood dream that has come true for McQuarters.

What has also been a blessing is playing alongside fellow senior Mo Garcia, the son of coach Rudy Garcia and the only returning starter from last year’s semifinalist squad.

“It’s really good for me because he’s a four-year starter, and I can ask him about bits and pieces of the game,” McQuarters says. “He’s been playing with his dad for four years, so it’s a pretty big deal with his leadership. I’m still learning from him even though I’m a senior leader. I may be the leader by going hard in practice, but Mo is the leader by example.”

The fast-paced nature of the game is what McQuarters likes most about basketball. He has also recognized another ability while adjusting to his starting role.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” he says. “It keeps you on your toes. In other sports like football, it’s four downs and you’re out. But basketball is fast-paced, always going, always moving. It’s just an upbeat, upbeat game.

“I think I would have to say I’m a two-way player,” he says. “Last year, my big thing was to lock down the main (opposing) scorer. This year, it’s really showing that I’m a two-way player, in which I can score as well as play defense.”

When it comes to the NBA, McQuarters is a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, just like most Oklahomans.

“I’m rockin’ with them anytime,” he says.

Although Kevin Durant left for Golden State nearly two summers ago, the Union senior is still a fan and emulates Durant’s style.  

“He’s always been my favorite player,” McQuarters says. “Just the way he scores the ball. He is like a 7-foot guard; he’s hard to guard; he’s won multiple scoring championships; he’s been MVP, got his first ring, and the dude is always humble. He’s never too cocky about anything.”

The Redskins’ season opener against Muskogee on Dec. 5 is McQuarters’ favorite game so far this season. On that evening, Union rolled to a 68-47 win over the Roughers.

“Coming into the season, everyone was really doubting us, not thinking that we were going to be as good,” he says. “I scored 20 points, (Jordan) Flood scored 20, Mo had around 16, we had a very productive night. It kind of set the tone for us for the season, letting everybody know that we’re not some kind of scrub team, that we’re a team to watch out for.”  

Rival Broken Arrow, who is ranked No. 1, appears to be the biggest foe on Union’s schedule.

“It will be our best conference game. Our team is really looking forward to that,” McQuarters says.

“I really think we can get back there (to state),” he adds. “Everybody wants to get back there just to show people who doubted us.”

Updated 02-03-2018

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