1996. Mike Bibby, a senior point guard at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, wraps up his high school career by helping the Matadors to a state title.
2016. Mike Bibby, a senior point guard at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, wraps up his high school career by helping the Matadors to a state title.
Deja vu? Nope, just an incredible coincidence.
The 2016 reincarnation of the Bibby saga, who goes by ‘Michael’, is the son of Mike Bibby, who helped the University of Arizona to its only national championship in 1997 and then went on to play 14 seasons in the NBA. Bibby Sr. notched the first state title for the Phoenix school, his son led the way to the last.
Now Michael is leaving behind a prep career that included two state titles, the other as a sophomore, and is ready to embark on the next step that could also possibly lead to the pro ranks. (He has yet to make a college selection) He has the size at 6’2″ – the same as his father – and the skills to inherited from an athletic heritage; his grandfather was Henry Bibby, who led UCLA to three national titles – also as a point guard – and played nine seasons in the NBA.
And those inherited traits helped him on the way to being named by azcentral sports as the Arizona Big School Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year.
And his father, who is now his coach at Shadow Mountain, earned Big Schools Boys’ Coach of the Year after leading the Matadors to a 27-5 season and totally dominating the Division II title game to win by 31 points.
Bibby the Younger had his fingerprints all over that final win, a 86-55 romp over Agua Fria High School. He scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out six assists, and threw in five steals for good measure. During the season, he averaged 19 points and five assists a game.
On the girls’ side this season, Sarah Barcello also picked up a state title in her sophomore season, leading Seton Catholic to a 31-1 record and the school’s eighth state championship in girls’ basketball.
And that also earned her the Girls’ Big Schools Player of the Year honor.
The 5’10” guard not only led the team in scoring with 16 points a game, but also pulled down just shy of six rebounds a game, third-best on the squad. Her coach, Karen Self, also pointed to her defense, where she averaged almost two steals a game, as an important factor in helping the Sentinels to this latest state title.
Seton finished runner-up for the state title in 2015 and this year’s win, combined with a stable of returning stars next year, will make the Chandler school a favorite to repeat. In addition to POY Barcello, Self will also have 6’3″ forward LeeAnne Wirth and her twin sister, 6’2″ guard Jenn, back for the 20-16-17 run as seniors; together the trio accounted for 38 points a game.
*Special recognition goes to Scottsdale Christian Academy. That school is the home to both of this year’s Coach of the Year award winners in the Small Schools category. Bob Fredericks led the boys team to the Division III state championship, his sixth title since 1999 and the first in the last six years. And first-year head coach, Travis Hearn, took the girls’ team through a Cinderella season that included a 27-7 record in the regular season and a deep run through the state tournament as a No. 10 seed, eventually losing to Thatcher High School, which went on to win the title.
In addition, SCA’s Reed Myers was named the Small Schools’ Boys’ Player of the Year. The versatile point guard averaged 12.6 points a game, while also distributing 6.4 assists per outing, grabbing 3.2 rebounds, and picking off nearly three steals a game.