A New Journey Begins: O’Shae Fernanders, Part II

O'Shae Fernanders has landed on the Mt. Tabor JV team this season.

A New Journey Begins: O’Shae Fernanders, Part II
November 21
01:30 2019

Back in August, I debuted an article that would be the first installment in a series of articles following a young basketball player, telling the story of his freshman year in high school.  

The initial article was to introduce O’Shae Fernanders and to touch on how he was introduced to the game of basketball. The subsequent articles would update how young Fernanders is adjusting to the high school level on and off the basketball court.

Over the past few months, Fernanders has been gearing up for basketball tryouts for the Mt. Tabor Spartans. He put in countless hours on the court, while also trying to adjust to the rigors of high school classes.

“Every night my mom would make me do pushups to get stronger,” said Fernanders about his preparation for tryouts. 

Heading into the first day of tryouts, Fernanders admits there was a little nervousness, but was confident in his abilities.  

“Going into the tryouts, I would just say to myself ‘Play calm and play your game’,” said Fernanders. “I just told myself that if I am running a play and I see an opening, take it.

“The small things that we did, they weren’t challenging, but I had to think it through a lot. I wanted to make sure I did everything right, so I tried to make every layup and hustle as much as I could.”

After the dust settled, Fernanders landed on the junior varsity team. Fernanders felt his tryout started off somewhat rocky, but bounced back in the latter portion to really show the coaching staff what he could do on the court.

“Coach Muse kind of got on me for not communicating in a drill, so he sent me down with the ninth graders,” he said. “So once I started communicating again, he sent me back over with the tenth graders.  After that I gained a little confidence going forward.”

O’Shae said the competition level was right where he expected it to be. He understood there would be a jump from the middle school level. His goal was to take advantage of any openings and he just wanted to “play basketball.”

Rebounding and applying more pressure on the ball are the things Fernanders was told he should work on.  

“I just want to play with a mature mindset and know what plays to make,” he continued. “I want to be a leader and be aggressive when my team needs me to. I know I need to stay humble, but I have to remember what I came here for.”

Fernanders looks at the upperclassmen in the Spartan program as “big brothers.” He says he listens to the advice they have shared with him and is thankful for the support.

O’Shae’s father, Chad Fernanders, said he noticed the butterflies his son had going into tryouts. Chad continues to have lofty goals for his son, but says his son has to want it more.

“His skills came out a little bit throughout the process,” said Mr. Fernanders. “When things first started, we were able to be in the gym and speaking to coaches and others, they said he put a little pressure on himself.

“I expect greatness and for him to go out there and do what I know he can do. We go forward, we don’t go backwards in life. I set a goal of 13 to 14 points, but he said he can do 16, so we are going to go with his goal. Each year, I just want him to get better as far as numbers, leadership and other things.”

Fernanders had high praise for the coaching staff of the Spartans. Fernanders had played for JV head coach Kedrick Carpenter in the past, so the familiarity with Carpenter will serve Fernanders well. 

“Coach Muse stopped me in the hallway one day and told me ‘Don’t think I’m yelling at you just to yell at you. I’m yelling at you because I want to get the max out of you’,” he said. “I just had to respect that and give him a handshake.”

Off the court, Fernanders is enjoying the first semester of his high school career. Many student-athletes have a tough time making that adjustment right away, but his parents have made sure he focuses in on the right things.

“Sometimes schoolwork piles up on me, so I will have to stay up until midnight some days to get the work done,” he continued. “You have to put a lot of thought into it and get your homework done.”

Mr. Fernanders says he has done things over the years to help prepare O’Shae for this level.  

“He has handled things well as far as the things that his mother and I throw at him,” said Mr. Fernanders. “I guess since we started him at a young age, when you get older you kind of become immune to some things.  He knows what to do and as I always say, ‘no grades, no games’.”

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors