Bishop gets a special shot

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 30, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

During halftime of Nansemond River basketball games last season, Geral Staten wowed the crowd with his stepping and dancing skills.

No one knew how much he’d rather have been playing.


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&uot;That’s all I ever wanted to do,&uot; he says, preparing to shoot hoops at Birdsong Recreation Center. &uot;I cried because I couldn’t play.&uot; After compiling a 1.5 grade point average during his freshman and sophomore years at Lakeland, the youngster called Bishop by all those that know him spent a third year at the alternative school Turlington Woods, making him ineligible to play high school ball.

&uot;I applied to the Virginia High School League, everyone,&uot; says Bishop, who inadvertently caused the Warrior football team to forfeit a victory last season when they used him. &uot;I never got to play high school ball, but I played a bunch of intramural sports.&uot; His squad, Against the Grain, won several recreation league tournaments, and he played for the Mike Duman team that won the 2003 Suffolk Sheriff’s Basketball League title.

Bishop’s godfather Marvin Riddick, a former coach at John F. Kennedy High School, sent some tapes of Bishop’s on-court antics to several small college coaches. A few weeks later, he was asked to tryout for the Community College of Baltimore County.

&uot;I went up there for workouts, and the coach couldn’t believe I’d never been coached,&uot; he says. That’s why, come fall, he’ll be teaming up with fellow River alumni Latron Demiel, who helped the Warriors to the 2002-3 Southeastern District and Tourn-ament title in the Baltimore backcourt.

&uot;They gave me a partial scholarship,&uot; says Bishop, who plans to major in mass communications. &uot;I’ve got books, room and board for one semester. They won’t be wasting their money on me.&uot; After two seasons, he hopes to move to Florida’s Bethune Cookman College, where his brother Maurice, himself a 1998 River graduate and former Suffolk Invitational Christmas Tournament Most Valuable Player, is the assistant coach.

&uot;Many people don’t get the opportunity I have, and I’m lucky to be blessed with this,&uot; Bishop says. &uot;I’ve always had the mental and fundamental parts of the game down, and now I have to get on the court and show it. People know me as a jovial guy, but I want to let them know that I’m willing to put in the work to put Suffolk on the map. If you’re willing and obedient, you’ll get to eat the good of the land, and all the good stuff will come. I’m going to go up there and take no prisoners.&uot;