One of the state’s top point guards will be on display when state champions collide at Miller Grove High School on Friday.
The Columbia boys play against Miller Grove at 7:30 p.m. Friday, preceded by the girls teams from both schools at 6 p.m. All four teams are defending state champions.
The best player on the court may be Columbia’s Tahj Shamsid-Deen, the 5-foot-9 point guard who has signed with Auburn.
“If Tahj was 6 feet, we wouldn’t be having a conversation about how good he is because everybody would know,” said former Columbia coach Phil McCrary, now an athletic coordinator for Dekalb County Schools. “The kid is so much heads and shoulders above so many point guards that people say are better than him. The only thing that coaches question is his size. But how can you question his size when the kid hasn’t been anything but a winner all of his life?”
Since his freshman year, Shamsid-Deen has led Columbia to three consecutive Class AAA state championships. This year, he’s averaging 21 points and 7 assists, including a 41-point effort against East Memphis a couple of weeks ago.
Shamsid-Deen’s former coach had hoped that he would get a better look from UGA. The Bulldogs showed early interest but decided to pursue another player. Shamsid-Deen signed with Auburn last month.
“I don’t recruit for Coach (Mark Fox),” McCrary said. “All I know is that I sent two pretty good players down there (in Travis Leslie and Jeremy Price). I figured with that kind of track record and relationship with us, Georgia would come in and make a push for the kid. But they had other plans.
“Now you’ve got a Georgia kid going to Auburn. I would hate to see him come back and do damage to Georgia. I know what kind of player Tahj is, and I know what kind of player he can become.”
Miller Grove vs. Columbia (Varsity Boys Basketball) – archived broadcast: bit.ly/WAHSNO
— Marques Burnett (@TheiHighLife) December 22, 2012