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January 21, 2013

Cats Confidential: The Bibbys with Evyn Murray

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. -- Same position, same high school, same number.

Michael Bibby Jr., a 5-10 point guard, is a product of his environment, to say the least. His father, Mike Bibby, has led by example in demonstrative fashion.

From high school to college to the professional ranks, Mike Bibby has made it to the top. At Phoenix (Ariz.) Shadow Mountain High School, where his son now plays, he led his team to its first and only basketball state championship. Now, Michael Bibby Jr. is making his own presence felt on the varsity team, as only a freshman.

The Bibbys are hoping to bring tradition back to the Shadow Mountain Matadors. So far this season, the Matadors have doubled their wins from the past two seasons combined, going from 10 wins in two seasons to 20 in a season that is not yet over.

But there was more than just the high school glory days for Mike Bibby, as he continued on to the University of Arizona and had instant success.

As the Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, posting averages of 13.5 points, 5.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game, he helped lead Arizona to its first and only national championship in 1997. In the NCAA Championship game against Kentucky, he scored 19 points and was selected to the All-Final Four Team.

Bibby's sophomore season brought along Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, and the Vancouver Grizzlies selected him with the second pick in the NBA draft.

After 14 seasons in the NBA, Mike Bibby is now stationed in Phoenix to help kids, including his son, make it to the next level. Mike isn't one to shy away from being coach and dad, which is why you can find him at his son's games just behind the bench. But Michael isn't the only one getting instruction. The whole team gets it from the stands.

"Help!" when the Matadors are on defense, and "talk!" when the offense doesn't seem to be moving. Mike Bibby isn't afraid to channel his inner point guard, stressing that the team must communicate to run the right plays and make the smartest decisions.

The father-son relationship is all fun and games, until they start bantering back and forth over who is better at what and who would win one-on-one. Mike does admit that 15-year-old Michael can shoot better than he did at his age.

Tough love, maybe. Words worth listening to, absolutely.

Evyn MurrayEvyn Murray
GOAZCATS.com Video Reporter

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