Athlete of the Week: Sharks roll with Duggan’s new role

In a win over visiting South Florence last Friday night, St. James standout Caleb Duggan became the first player in school history to surpass the 1,000-point mark for his career.

But the senior guard is more interested in hanging a different kind of banner on the wall of the Shark Tank than becoming the lone member of the 1,000-point club.

“It’s a real honor to be the first one to do it, but it wasn’t just me,” Duggan said. “My teammates and coaches were all part of this, and that’s what it’s all about.

“As far as points, I would be happy to only score 4 and us win than score 40 and us lose. This year, it’s all about we, not me. We have T-shirts that say that and that’s our attitude.”

The numbers confirm Duggan’s renewed commitment to his team this season. While his scoring numbers are down from his junior year (from 20 to 13), his rebound and assist totals are up.

More importantly, the Sharks are off to an 11-5 start to the season and have already matched their win total from last year’s 11-11 campaign, almost assuring themselves a winning season.

“I personally believe Caleb’s drive to win is the most important to him this season,” said St. James coach Sylvester Carr. “It’s evident in his court play.

“Not many seniors will score less points, give out more assist, and get more rebounds unless winning was their No. 1 objective. But Caleb has because he wants this team to be a winning team, a championship team.”

Indeed, a winning season isn’t enough for Duggan and his teammates this time. After struggling down the stretch last year, St. James is looking to go the distance this season.

“Our goal is to win the region, make a deep run in the playoffs and hopefully play for the state championship at the Colonial Center,” Duggan said. “Winning the region and getting those first two games at home is a huge help.”

Duggan, who received 12 stitches in his chin during a spill in the Beach Ball Classic over the holidays, has more faith than ever in his teammates this year. He’s helped get newcomer Nehemiah Stafford and longtime teammates Matt Strange and TreDarius McCallum more involved in the offense.

“I have a lot more confidence in my teammates this year and I have seen them grow and get better with every game,” Duggan said. “Everybody knows their role and wants to do their part to help the team win.”

Photo by Rancier Photography

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