NSA ’16 graduate mourned
Published 9:13 pm Thursday, August 4, 2016
Students, alumni, teachers and coaches at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy are mourning a Class of 2016 graduate who died in a tragic accident on vacation in Colorado on July 27.
Matthew Shiembob Jr., known simply as “Shiembob” to his peers, was a basketball lover who was close with his two younger siblings, liked to spend time at the beach and in the mountains and enjoyed eating out at restaurants.
Those who knew him best said he was kind and gentle, slow to criticize and quick to listen to others and think about what they said.
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“He listened a lot,” said his mother, Susan Shiembob. “He was a man of few words. He asked a lot of questions and just listened, and he reflected well on the conversations he had with the people in his life.”
NSA girls’ basketball coach Kim Aston said Shiembob had started coming to her basketball camps when he was 5 years old. She also coached him in baseball when he was younger, but he gave that sport up as his love for basketball grew.
“He was just a really sweet kid, quiet, and really unassuming,” she said. “But he absolutely loved playing basketball. That’s what he was super passionate about.”
Aston said Shiembob’s tendency to listen intently made him coachable.
“He was the type of kid that he would try to do anything and everything you told him,” she said. “He would listen intently and try to please.”
Shiembob helped her coach at basketball camps as a junior and a senior, she added.
“He just loved basketball,” Aston said. He was a fan of the Lakers and of Kobe Bryant, whom he got to see play this year before he retired.
Boys’ basketball coach Lamont Strothers started coaching the team last year and said Shiembob could always be counted on to hit big shots.
“When we needed that ‘3,’ he was that guy we set up to take that shot,” Strothers said. “His favorite shot was the fadeaway on the baseline,” just like Kobe Bryant.
Off the court, Strothers said Shiembob had “a really gentle spirit,” and was a quiet kid but not unsociable.
“Even though he’s only played for me for a year, we used to have a lot of conversations about life, his plans after high school and so forth,” Strothers said. “He’s going to be sadly missed.”
Susan Shiembob said it was nice to hear about her son’s life at his Tuesday funeral, where several of his teammates were pallbearers and many members of the NSA family attended.
The family has requested memorial donations be made to NSA’s athletic program, 3373 Pruden Blvd., Suffolk, VA 23434.