Lance Schaffer wanted to be like Jordan when was growing up.
No, not Michael Jordan.
The former Fair Play standout is a legend around Polk County.
Sukovaty is best known for leading the Hornets to the Class 1 Final Four in 2008. That same year he was also named All-State and the Polk County League MVP, averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a night.
In the process, he caught the eye Fair Play’s newest superstar.
“I saw him play when I was younger, and I used to practice with him and his brothers and I really wanted to be like him,” said Schaffer. “Everyone idolized him. I even wore No. 31 because of him. His family helped me out quite a bit with basketball growing up.”
Schaffer’s path to stardom started early.
He knew he wanted to play basketball, and he knew he wanted to be great.
“Basketball has always been my sport. I never really had an interest in other sports,” said Schaffer. “When I was five, my parents put up a goal in our yard and I would just shoot and shoot. Eventually they got me an indoor goal.”
That foundation would lead to one of the single greatest scoring outputs in Fair Play history.
Schaffer poured in 28.5 PPG, leading the Hornets to 26-4 record and a berth in the Class 1 quarterfinals this past season.
He wasn’t a one trick pony either.
The Polk County League MVP also led Fair Play with 11 rebounds a night, and tallied 91 steals on the season.
But it was ability to shoot the ball that set him apart.
Schaffer scored at least 19 points in every game this season. He broke the 20-point barrier on 27 occasions, 30 or more in 14 games, and he even scored 40-plus twice.
He also knocked down 76 treys on 46% shooting.
81 of his 850 points on the season game in back-to-back games.
After torching Wheatland for 40 points in an 86-64 win. Just two days later Schaffer was even better, dropping a career-high 41 on Humansville in a 72-42 win.
“I had no idea I had that many points,” said Schaffer. “I knew I was feeling good, but I wasn’t sure. I was shocked when coach told me.”
Although Fair Play’s season came to an end at the hands of a talented Drexel team, there is yet more basketball to be played for Schaffer.
He will continue playing this fall at Missouri Valley College.
“The opportunity to continue playing means a lot,” said Schaffer. “I wouldn’t have gone to college if I didn’t get a basketball scholarship. Now I just want to keep getting better and represent Fair Play.”
Favorite athlete: LeBron James Favorite team: Miami Heat Pregame superstition: Listen to music Most disliked athlete: Kobe Bryant Favorite movie: Coach Carter Favorite musical artist: Akon Favorite actor: Denzel Washington Favorite athletic memory: Catching an ally-oop and dunking it in a game Song on your iPod people wouldn’t expect: “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey Hidden talent: Juggling
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