No one in The Jungle doubted Shaq and Shunn back in 2015. The Buchanan brothers were key to Madison Central's run to the 6A state title game. Their dream was to play Division 1 hoops, both took advantage of JUCO ball at Northeast.
Their mother Stephanie Latiker loved how they embraced the opportunity. "I know a lot of people look down on junior college," she said. "But hey, that's the road we had to take and we are very proud of it."
Shaq and Shunn's D1 dream would come true in two places far from Mississippi. Shaq took his jump shot and his hops to Kentucky and Murray State. Shunn headed a thousand miles west to New Mexico State.
"It's the best decision I ever made," Shunn said. "To play for Coach Jans and to be able to play for him and win the way we win."
Both had the chance to see their sibling cut down the nets as conference champions.
They won't have to go that far to see each other in the Big Dance.
Shaq and Shunn will be in the spotlight Friday, and their family will have the best seats in San Diego.
Shaq & Shunn Buchanan’s family decked out for #MarchMadness— Chris Hudgison (@ChrisHudgison) March 13, 2018
The Madison Central/Northeast alums play Friday in San Diego.
Hear from Shaq, Shunn, & their mom tonight 9:30pm @Fox40News and 10pm @WLBT pic.twitter.com/SBhs0fuakO
"I was hoping and praying, I had my fingers crossed," Latiker said. "I was praying: I hope they'll be in the same place, I hope they'll be in the same place, because it'll make it so much better. It makes a parent proud. So many other things they could have been doing. But I instilled in them to do what's right, to keep God first, and always go after your dream."
Shaq added "I'm ready to go to San Diego cause it's been a while, the last time I saw him we were at Northeast. It'll be a good feeling to see my brother in person."
Shunn knows how unique this weekend will be for the Buchanans. "It's very rare that you have two brothers make the tournament for different teams or even the same team. It just feels good that we can do that in front of our mom."
Murray State plays West Virginia Friday at 3:00pm on TNT. New Mexico State faces Clemson Friday at 8:57pm on TruTV.
The Sip in The Big Dance
Malik Newman (Kansas - Callaway)
Wesley Harris (West Virginia - Callaway & Northeast)
Shaq Buchanan (Murray State - Madison Central & Northeast)
Shunn Buchanan (New Mexico State - Madison Central & Northeast)
Devin Gilmore (Murray State - MRA)
Galin Smith (Alabama - Clinton)
Darius Hicks (NC State - Quitman)
Scott Nagy (Wright State head coach - Delta State)
Terry Miller (Murray State - Southwest MS)
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