North Dakota State Men’s Basketball and the Legacy of the 2020 Senior Class
Four Seniors to be honored before Saturday's regular season finale against Omaha
FARGO, N.D. — Saturday not only marks the end of the regular season and a chance at a share of the Summit League regular season title, its a day to honor North Dakota State men’s basketball’s four seniors. Of the four, three have spent their entire four years in a Bison uniform.
That’s guards Chris Quayle, Tyson Ward and Jared Samuelson. Samuelson and Ward stick out as two that have come in from day one and played over 190 games at the SHAC and head coach Dave Richman appreciates that loyalty to the program.
“They mean everything to this program. Essentially Tyson and Jared come up because its a different style of basketball with this transfer thing going on and the loyalty for those guys to start here and go through some adversity, lose some games, have some not fun seasons,” Richman said. “To see the fruits of their labor last season and going to the NCAA Tournament and to be in the position they’re in again, its pretty special.”
That fourth senior, guard Vinnie Shahid, was only at NDSU for two seasons coming in as a junior college transfer but hasn’t skipped a beat. Two consecutive seasons as the team’s leading scorer and the Summit League Tournament MVP, however, Richman says Shahid’s legacy reaches far more than just the basketball court.
“Then vinnie. Listen like the impact that young man has had on me and my family and this community is immeasurably, it really is,” Richman said. “I do a poor job about talking about Vinnie the basketball player because I get caught up in all the intangibles. How hard he works. What he is as a person you now all those things.”
The senior class is on the brink of what could be another appearance in march madness with a Summit League title, but even if those opportunities don’t come, Ward and Shahid says the family team dynamic is what both will remember most once their college careers are over.
“Were so close and you know there’s never any bad blood or anything and I think that’s what this group is really good at,” Ward said. “If there’s any problem, we can come to each other meet man to man face to face and deal with it. Hammer that out and we’ll be all good. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve noticed over these four years about this group.”
“Feels like I just got here yesterday. Feels like it was the summer of 17-18 and I just met these guys and know they’re my brothers for life,” Shahid said. “You know there guys that I’ll have memories with for life and guys that I’ll have a bond with for life. You can’t put it into words what it means. What this place means to me and what these guys mean to me.”
The college basketball journey may be coming to a close for these four seniors but all of them hope to keep coming back to Fargo because as the saying goes, once a Bison always a Bison.