Temara’s Long Road To Denton Leads To Increased Role
Junior College Transfer Playing At His Third School
DENTON – North Texas junior forward Shane Temara grew up idolizing a Syracuse legend not named Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse University to a national championship in 2003, but another Orange hero: his mother.
Temara’s mother was inducted into the Orange Plus Hall of Fame in 1987 and is currently one of 10 prestigious women that have been honored. Her accomplishments include the 1984 team MVP and her 1,069 points rank 22nd all-time. She is also fourth all-time in blocks with 115.
Temara knew at an early age about his family’s basketball background, and it motivated him to play.
“I started playing basketball at a young age,” Temara said. “I didn’t get pushed into playing, but I always wanted to follow in the footsteps of my mom. I knew early on this was something I had an opportunity to do after learning I would be taller than most kids.”
Temara’s younger brother Troy, who is a freshman at George Mason University, provided that competitive spirit for Shane. The two Temara brothers pushed each other in one-on-one games at their house in the driveway.
Temara didn’t start receiving attention from colleges until his junior year in high school at West Genesee in Camillus, New York.
“My junior year in high school I had a couple of Division II schools offer me and Brown University came to watch,” Temara said. “I didn’t get as much exposure because I only played high school and not on a high profile AAU team.”
In Shane’s senior year, the Temara brothers were on the same team for the first time. Shane gained some height and then attention after averaging 18.2 points per game.
“I wasn’t always tall, only being 6-foot-2, as a freshman in high school,” Temara said. “My senior year I hit a growth spurt and was a 6-foot-7 shooter. In the end, I only had two offers from junior colleges and I figured I would go to the one in Florida rather than the one close to central New York.”
A small junior college in Tampa, Florida, offered Temara a 50 percent scholarship to play at Pasco-Hernando State. Temara continued to work on his game, starting 26 of 28 games during his freshman season.
“I had a solid year individually,” Temara said. “We played a lot of higher-ranked junior colleges but I knew I could play at a higher level. My roommate and I started to email a bunch of junior college coaches.”
Temara finished his freshman season at Pasco-Hernando State averaging 15.4 points per game and 9.1 rebounds, and had eight games with 20-plus points and 16 double-doubles.
The next opportunity came from Angelina College head coach Todd Neighbors, who decided to take a chance on Temara.
“Deion Fields, my roommate at Pasco-Hernando, emailed the Angelina coach,” Temara said. “They offered us a package deal after watching film on us.”
Angelina College was known as a pipline to Division I school such as Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Charlotte and North Texas. Deckie Johnson, a senior guard for the Mean Green, was one of those former players. Johnson was a prolific scorer for the Roadrunners with 1,000 points in two seasons before heading to North Texas.
“Deckie was just this legendary figure with the coaching staff at Angelina,” Temara said. “Deckie had already left the school for North Texas so I never got to meet him, but that is when I first started to look into the school.”
At first, Temara wasn’t getting much playing time as a sophomore for Angelina College. In his first 15 games, Temara only scored in double-figures four times. However, an injury to a teammate opened up his next opportunity. His breakout game occurred against Bossier Parrish Community College, where he earned his first double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Prior to a matchup at the end of the season against, Paris Junior College, Temara had eight double-doubles and 13-straight games scoring 10 points or more. Earlier in the season, Temara only scored two points against Louisiana Tech recruit Omar Sherman, with 18 points, and Temara knew this was his chance to show his abilities.
“My assistant coach at Angelina told me if I played well at our conference tournament game, I was probably going to get a bunch of Division I offers,” Temara said. “I played well, especially against Omar Sherman who was offered by LA Tech. Later that night, I received offers from North Texas and Charlotte.”
Texashoops.com named Temara one of the top 85 players in junior college. One month after his final game at Angelina College, Temara had finally reached the Division I level he always knew he could play.
“Where I’m from, it wasn’t cool to play junior college,” Temara said. “I was told I was never going to be good enough to play Division I basketball. I like that North Texas was a big school and I knew Deckie was doing big things there. It helped that the coaches wanted me to be a stretch big man and other schools wanted me as a center.”
Similar to his other stops, Temara took some time to get used to the speed and athleticism of Division I basketball. Temara only scored seven points in his first three games before a breakout game at Rutgers, when he finished with 16 points and went 4-of-8 from the 3-point line.
When Junior forward Jeremy Combs was shut down for the rest of the season on Jan. 21, Temara earned his first Div. I start on Jan. 19, 2017, at Southern Miss. In his second start at LA Tech, Temara grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.
“This is an open opportunity for me to showcase what I can do to help this team,” Temara said.
Temara has started the last seven games for the Mean Green and has pulled down six or more rebounds in five of the past seven games. He finished with a career-high 18 points in a win at Florida Atlantic on Feb. 9.
He believes his junior college experience has made him work harder to prove the doubters wrong. Temara may not follow his mother’s footsteps to a Hall of Fame induction, but he still has a senior season left to obtain his goal of playing professionally in the future.