By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Xavier Glenn began playing basketball at the age of three.
“I remember playing with all my friends in the neighborhood and that really got me to be the player I am today,” said Glenn, who is now a senior impacting Bixby on the court.
Just being out there and playing the game is what he likes about the sport. “It’s just something I loveto do,” he said.
“As for my skills, I’m just more of a scorer. If I can really just hide the ball in my hands, I can get it in the basket.”
Glenn looks to the likes of NBA players Daniel Lillard and Kevin Durant as his role-models, to develop his style.
“I admire his (Durant’s) game,” he said. “I watch videos of him and practice his moves and skills.”
Favorite basketball moves of Glenn are the fadeaway, crossover and two-foot stepback.
The Spartan boys struggled in recent years in boys’ basketball. But that’s not the case this year as they are 10-1 and ranked No. 9 in the Class 6A poll by OSSAA Rankings as of this writing.
“I think the key to that start is our confidence and really just putting in time over the summer,” Glenn said. “Everyone has been sleeping on us saying ‘Bixby is not going to be good. They’ve always been trash.’ I’ve been telling everybody since I was a freshman, ‘senior year is going to be our best year.’”
It is certainly looking that way as of the end of January. The Spartans have some big wins against Jenks, Sand Springs and Booker T. Washington. In a victory against Sapulpa on Jan. 15 at home, Glenn, who is committed to play at the college level for William Woods, an NAIA in Fulton, Mo., logged a double-double with 34 points and 15 rebounds. He also had seven assists.
In the game, the Spartans trailed the Chieftains by seven points with two minutes left in regulation. Glenn nailed a 3-pointer to energize his team. Glenn would pass to teammate Connor Loney, who would hit a trey to tie the game up and send it into overtime at 86-86.
Bixby would outscore Sapulpa 11-9 in the extra period and win 97-95. The Chieftains missed two free throws at the end that allowed the Spartans to win.
“Our chemistry is the best it can be,” Glenn said. “We look after each other, we all play team ball and are not selfish. I think we’re a lot better. That’s why we’re (10-1).”
The lone loss came in a blowout loss to Midwest City Carl Albert, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, in the second round of the Bartlesville Tournament.
“There was a lot of attitude issues, a lot of turnovers, but that’s a game we’ll always remember and we’re just going to fight and get back from that loss.
One key factor in Bixby’s success has been the leadership of second-year coach Sam Fairchild. Bixby won just three games in the year before Fairchild’s arrival.
“It’s been a lot of difference,” Glenn said. “Coach Fairchild and (assistant) coach (Lance) Kight really are the two main people to help me become the best player that I am today. If it wasn’t for coach Fairchild, I wouldn’t have been contributing to the game what I’ve done now, and if it wasn’t for coach Kight, my attitude still would be bad as it was in my earlier years, they have built me into the best player I can be.”
This year’s playoffs begin Feb. 26 with the regional tournament.
“I think the key to keep winning is just playing team basketball, not being selfish, keeping our composure, play with character, pride and keep the chip on our shoulder. I think this team has a great chance to win state this year,” Glenn said.