BY BARRY WONG
At Foothill home games when senior Austin Starr hits a 3-pointer, the PA announcer belts out something to the effect of “Austin Starr, downtown, three.”
It’s a sound spreads through the gymnasium, and it happens a lot.
Starr is widely regarded as the best shooter in southern Nevada. His 82 made 3-pointers are second most in the area.
“He’s a legit shooter,” Keith Starr, Austin’s father and a Foothill assistant coach, said.
His son has been shooting since he could walk.
“We had a basket in the living room, so they used to wake up shooting the ball,” he added.
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Keith Starr played in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls and was an assistant coach under Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV.
“Growing up, that’s all I really did when I was a little kid,” Austin Starr said.
“He opens up a lot for me, and I open up a lot for him,” Foothill senior point guard Jalen Shepard said.
Starr and Shepard came up through the Foothill program together.
“Most of my game is based off of him and getting him the ball,” Shepard said. “I have a lot of confidence in him.”
For Foothill to succeed in the Sunrise Region playoffs, which begins tonight with a 6:30 p.m. home game against Green Valley, both Starr and the rest of the Falcon shooters must make shots.
“If you’ve followed us over the past few years, we haven’t had anybody that can do the And-1, mix-tape, dunks and all that,” Foothill head coach Kevin Soares said. “We’ve found other ways to win games, and that’s with 3-point shots and tough defense.”
And you know Starr will be one of the Falcons firing up from downtown.
“I want to shoot the big 3’s. As a shooter, it’s my job to make big 3’s for my team and to win the game,” Starr said.
The winner of tonight’s Green Valley-Foothill will face the Las Vegas/Basic winner in the semifinals Thursday night at 4:40 p.m. at Green Valley High School. The Sunrise Region championship game is Friday at 7 p.m. also at Green Valley.