By Jeff Harrison
Shenandoah High’s Christian Duniver – who was named first team All-Ohio Division IV one week ago – will be playing his college hoops close to home.
Duniver, who finished his career as the Zeps’ all-time leading scorer in boys’ basketball, will attend Ohio Valley University, an NCAA Division II school located in Parkersburg.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work since about fifth grade and focusing on basketball, so it’s great to reap the benefits of that work,” said Duniver.
“It’s more of a family-type atmosphere, and they’re very welcoming,” said Duniver. “I’m really excited to get started.”
Duniver helped the Zeps to a 21-4 record with a 20.1 scoring average and 1,361 career points, moving him past Jedidiah Stephen (SHS Class of 2002) who held the record with 1,278 points.
Duniver, a 6-foot guard, also averaged 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 47 percent from the field, 42 percent on three-pointers and 76 percent at the free throw line.
He was named first team and the co-player of the year on the All-East District D-IV squad and first team/player of the year on the All-District 12 D-IV team and first team all-OVAC Class 2A. He played in the District 12 All-Star Basketball Classic and was named to the OHSBCA North-South Game’s D-III/IV roster, but that game will not be played this year.
As a junior, Duniver tallied 18.6 points per game received honorable mention All-Ohio D-IV, second team All-East District D-IV, and first team all-District 12 D-IV and all-OVAC.
As a sophomore, he averaged 15.6 per contest and gained honorable mention All-Ohio D-IV, second team All-East District, and first team All-District 12 and All-OVAC recognition.
While there have been plenty of memories at SHS, Duniver enjoyed his final season, winning consecutive sectional titles and a career-best performance against the “team to the south”.
“It’s been a fun ride, especially this year,” he said. “We really came together and had each other’s backs and had a pretty good season.”
“That was a good one,” he smiled, referring to the 41-point game against Caldwell during his junior year, “and winning back-to-back sectional titles and sharing that with my teammates was pretty special.”
Duniver will, of course, continue to work on elevating his game for the next level.
“I think I can help with ball-handling (at OVU),” he said, “but individually, I always need to work on my shot and court awareness,…just improve my all-around game.”
Shenandoah coach Marc Smith offered several glowing remarks about Duniver earlier in the week when he was named an all-stater.
“Christian and his family made a decision a long time ago that he wanted to be the best basketball player that has played at Shenandoah,” said Smith earlier. “From grade school on, they have remained committed to that goal. He worked on his game daily, played AAU basketball for many years and traveled throughout the U.S. to play the best competition.
“He put himself in uncomfortable situations in order to improve,” the Zeps’ coach continued. “That is what it takes if you want to be outstanding. He did his work when few were around to see it and he did it for 10-plus years, so it’s no surprise that he became the player he did.
“With all of that said, he never lost sight of the fact that team success supersedes individual accolades,” added Smith. “That’s a tricky balance in today’s society and he walked that tightrope in first class fashion. I hope he serves as a role model for our younger kids in what it takes to be successful, not only in basketball, but wherever ones talents lie.”
An Academic All-Ohio selection and a member of the National Honor Society, Christian is the son of Dan and Melissa Duniver.He plans to major in biochemistry at OVU.