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Scott sophomore point guard Mitchel Minor is a 'backyard basketball rat'

Posted at 7:00 AM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 22:02:46-04

TAYLOR MILL, Ky. — Sometimes it's 150 left-handed layups on the family's backyard hoop.

Other occasions demand right-handed layups or 30 shots from nine spots where he shoots off a pass. There are also dribbling techniques he finds on YouTube.

Scott High School sophomore point guard Mitchel Minor simply doesn't want a day off during this stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"He's a true gym rat," said his father, North College Hill boys basketball coach Shannon Minor. "Now, he's not a gym rat, he's a backyard rat."

Morning, noon and night -- up to three hours daily -- the 5-foot-9 Mitchel has a basketball routine.

Scott sophomore point guard Mitchel Minor learned many basketball lessons from his father, North College HIll boys basketball coach Shannon Minor.

"It's crazy," said Candi Minor, who is Mitchel's mother. "I can be in the front yard and all I can hear is the basketball dribbling in the backyard. It's just nonstop. You can tell he's just real into it. He challenges himself."

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Mitchel, 15, is among countless student-athletes across the nation who are doing their best to work out during this unprecedented time.

His mantra is simple: Maximize every second during this quarantine time.

"My thing is whenever I step on the court I always work as hard as I can," Mitchel said. "How I see it is no one is ever going to work harder than me while I am on the court. That's how I feel. And I always try to get as many reps as possible."

Basketball is in his genes. Shannon Minor played on Northern Kentucky University's two Division II national runner-up teams in the 1990s. The standard has been set.

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The Minor family started the Pete Minor Father-Child Basketball Camp eight years ago in order to honor the legacy of Shannon's late father, Pete, who died in 2011.

"I think I enjoy it so much because of my dad," Mitchel said. "I am mainly pushed because of him. I am motivated because of everything that he did and all of his accomplishments. So I want to be better than him, so that's why I strive to work hard and be better than him every day."

Before Mitchel goes to sleep at night, he often does extra exercises and reads Larry Bird's autobiography.

"I will go in his room at midnight and he's in there doing pushups and crunches," Shannon Minor said. "And I'm like, 'Dude, you have to go to bed.'"

The 45-year-old could wonder how he would've responded to that advice 30 years ago. Shannon Minor played at North College Hill and Colerain before his career at NKU (1993-97). He used to practice on a skinny driveway in North College Hill as a youngster.

Later, Shannon and his late father, Pete Minor, practiced at Regents Hall on the NKU campus.

Shannon Minor fondly looks back at those moments when his father never missed his high school or college basketball games -- home or away -- regardless of location or circumstances.

"When I am limping around trying to get the rebound and it takes me five minutes to get it -- that reminds me of my dad because it was always funny that when I would miss he would say, 'Well, if you don't miss I wouldn't have to run after it,'" he said. "And I think I do the same thing with Mitchel."

Mitchel and Shannon Minor can't get enough of the game. Mitchel has a motivation similar to his father's when he was a teenager.

Whether it's watching basketball on TV, playing in the backyard or enjoying the special occasion when North College Hill plays Scott during the season, the game continues to be their special bond shared through generations.

"I kind of just kind of stay motivated just because of how my dad said everyone was always doubting him," Mitchel said. "And it was a little bit different for me. It was more so that everyone always thought I wanted to be better than him, so my main motivation is to always strive to be better than him and to do bigger and better things than him."

The determination can't be deterred at any point of the year.

"He'll come to me and be like, 'This hurts or that hurts,'" Candi Minor said. "And I try to explain to him that recovery is just as much a part of your workout as doing the actual workout. He always likes to tell me that his mama didn't raise a wimp and he is going for the grind -- 'I got more grind' -- and I am just like, 'Whatever.' Sometimes I just have to roll my eyes and turn the other way."