High scorer changing schools

Shamon Cox, one of the county's top scorers, will not return to St. Petersburg High next season.

Published May 17, 2007

Shamon Cox, one of the county's top scorers, will not return to St. Petersburg High next season.

The 6-foot-3, 210 pound sophomore has been assigned to Lakewood through school choice, his mother, Adriene Thompson confirmed Wednesday.

Cox averaged 16.5 points and nine rebounds last season for the Green Devils, earning the Times' second-team all-county selection. Thompson said she had a reason for her son's move but declined to elaborate. Thompson put Lakewood, Gibbs and St. Petersburg High as Cox's top three choices through the program.

This admittedly "shocked" Cox.

He said he didn't know his mother was putting him through the county's school choice program.

"It'll be a new experience. ... I was surprised, " Cox said.

Thompson said she asked for her son's opinion; he wanted to stay at St. Petersburg. But Thompson said she felt like Lakewood was a better choice "after I weighed all my options and did my pros and cons. I felt like being the parent, I needed to make the choice."

Lakewood, perennially one of the county's top programs, advanced to last year's 5A state championship game, losing to Lake Howell in the final.

Thompson said she has never spoken with Spartans legendary coach Dan Wright, but has "admired him from afar."

"I've seen him take nothing and make it into something, " Thompson said. "Hopefully he can take something and make it into something much more."

Cox is the second county standout to change schools through choice this offseason. Adam Pegg, a 6-foot-10 junior forward at Palm Harbor, has been assigned to Lakewood after not getting his top three choices - Clearwater, Pinellas Park, PHU. Pegg is expected to get into Clearwater by the fall he's in the top 10 on its waiting list.

LOUCKS NARROWS LIST: Clearwater junior Luke Loucks, a four-star point guard recruit, has narrowed his potential suitors to Florida State, Georgia Tech, USF and St. Joseph's, with the Seminoles "the leaders right now." Loucks said he'll announce his decision around June 1.

HOOP SCOOP: Clearwater senior guard Justin Morin committed to Central Florida Community College, state junior college runnerup last season. ... Pinellas Park senior guard James Smith signed with Clearwater Christian College. ... Bob Marinak, removed in February as Countryside coach, was hired by Sunlake High in Pasco.

WILSON TO FSU: Countryside senior volleyball standout Taylor Wilson will play as a preferred walk-on at Florida State next season, her coach, Kaylyn Bayly, confirmed. The middle hitter earned second-team Times all-county honors last season.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com or at (727) 893-8129.