Tuesday, January 19, 2021

McIntosh leader for younger Cards

Shamoy McIntosh came into college with the mindset that nothing really mattered — that college life was all about having fun. He said he started as a freshman who didn’t have direction, and then he grew into one of Plattsburgh State’s most talented players of all time.

McIntosh first started playing basketball at the age of 7. He’s the first of his family to play basketball and go to college.

Living in poverty in Floral Park, New York, McIntosh never had much support surrounding him.

“Growing up, you’re always on your own and by yourself,” McIntosh said. “You don’t really have anything. I always chose the positive part and stuck with basketball.”

With gang and drug influences surrounding him, at times it was difficult for McIntosh to avoid.

“I have friends who made bad decisions,” McIntosh said. “I always chose the other route. I don’t want to live my life that way.”

But McIntosh had help from someone who he holds dear to his heart — his mother, Jennifer McIntosh.

“She is everything to me. She has been working hard since she has been young,” McIntosh said. “She put me in a great position to where I am today, and she’s my idol.”

His mom has helped guide him through tough times, teaching him manners and being his counselor. She told him what’s right and what’s wrong and because they live in a bad community, there’s going to be people who try and influence him and bring him down a dark path.

“He’s almost indescribable,” forward/guard and close friend Xavier Thomas said. “He’s a great leader, very aggressive and he just wants things to get going for the whole team. He is not about himself.”

But to become the best is no easy path. Even in college, McIntosh has had his struggles. When he came in as a freshman McIntosh said he was a head case with an attitude.

Coming in as a 17-year-old, McIntosh said he wouldn’t listen or take constructive criticism because he thought he knew it all.

“His freshman and sophomore year, he would get to the rim and yell ‘and one’ and miss,” head coach Tom Curle said, laughing. “Now he doesn’t yell ‘and one’ anymore because I told him not to yell ‘and one’ when you miss.”

Thanks to Curle, McIntosh bought into what the program is about — representing yourself in a positive way.

McIntosh had one-on-one conversations with Curle that helped guide him through his collegiate career.

“The real reason you come to college is to grow as a person, a student and an athlete,” Curle said. “He has been able to do that ,and he has come a long long way.”

McIntosh said Curle told him he was going to mature during his four years at PSUC. This maturation has allowed him to become a leader in his senior year.

“He smiles a lot more,” Curle said. “He really talks to the freshmen and sophomores in a really positive manner in terms of really trying to build them up.”

With 2014-15 being his final season at PSUC, McIntosh has plenty of accomplishments, from reaching 1,000 points for his career to being the first one from his family to graduate college, but Curle said he believes McIntosh isn’t concerned about accolades.

“How does he want his senior year to be remembered from a team perspective, I think it is going to be far more valuable to him in the long run,” Curle said. “It’s going to be about the team, not personal accolades.”

Thomas said McIntosh has his priorities right and knows what he wants to do in his life.

For now, no one knows what the future holds for McIntosh. He said maybe one day he’ll coach his own team or play overseas, but he does know one thing.

“I want to live a good life and know that I’ve done well in life and leave good memories.”

Email Alex Ayala at photo@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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