The student news site of Duncanville High School

Panther Prints

Panther Prints

Panther Prints

McQuaid fulfills his goals of playing in college after success as a Panther

Senior Matthew McQuaid is no stranger to going up top for the dunk in games.  (Cynthia Rangel photo)
Senior Matthew McQuaid is no stranger to going up top for the dunk in games. (Cynthia Rangel photo)

Sweat  drenches his Duncanville Panther Sweatband as he stands at the line, ready to take the free throw. He dribbles the ball once or twice before he sets up his outside shot. With a flick of the wrist, the ball flies out of his hand. His breathing ceases for a moment while the basketball is in the air. “Whoosh!” The ball sinks through the net on his Little Tyke’s goal. His parents jump up from the couch, cheering their hearts out. He smiles, feeling on top of the world.

Fast forward. Senior Matthew McQuaid filters his way to the outside of the court and stares across the parameter of the court waiting on the pass from his teammate. The ball swiftly hits his hands and before the opponent can process what has just happened, McQuaid sinks another 3.  As a sharp shooter for the Panthers, McQuaid was one of the most highly sought after players in the state. After he helps the Panthers make a run at the playoffs, plans to take his skills to Michigan State as a Division I basketball player.

“Basketball was love at first sight,” McQuaid said. “I knew in first grade as I watched basketball on TV that I wanted to play in college and then in the NBA.”

McQuaid grew up watching basketball both on the TV and from the sidelines as his father coached at the high school level. He dreaded losing almost as much as he loved winning. That was the first indication to him that he had passion for the game.

“I had a lot of fun being around the game, and I loved playing basketball,” McQuaid said. “I love how competitive it is and how I can use it to escape my problems. It never gets old.”

Matthew’s parents, Karen and Robert McQuaid, recognized their son’s passion for the game as he watched him play basketball in the living room as a little kid. His mom remembers especially his springy legs as he jumped around. However, Robert McQuaid admits he didn’t realize what a star athlete his son had the potential to be until he was in the third grade at nationals.

“He began to shoot the ball from the three point line, like I had never seen him shoot it,” Robert McQuaid said. “He had incredible form. At that point I knew, if he kept at the sport, he was going to be pretty great at it.”

Matthew McQuaid was raised in a family of athletes. His father was a basketball coach; his older brother Michael McQuaid played golf, and his older sister Andrea McQuaid currently plays professional volleyball in Europe. Robert McQuaid believes that this environment influenced his son’s drive.

“Our family is relatively athletic,” Robert McQuaid said. “It was all he knew because that’s what we did at the house. We picked what we were going to do and whatever we did, we did our best at. That was our motto. I think being the youngest, and growing up in a family of successful athletes, it was almost kind of a destiny for him.”

Matthew McQuaid showed signs to Coach Corey Chism that he was naturally athletic. He also said that he recognized Matthew McQuaid’s versatility. 

“Matthew does a great job of leading by example through his work ethic,” Chism said. “And of course he is one of the best scoring guards in the state.”


Senior Matthew McQuaid drives to the basket against South Grand Prairie. (Cynthia Rangel photo)
Senior Matthew McQuaid drives to the basket against South Grand Prairie. (Cynthia Rangel photo)

To improve, Matthew is a regular at the gym working on shooting drills, ball handling and endurance. During the on-season, he spends 1 1/2  hours at practice then works for another hour after. He continues his work out with two hour drills three to five times a week during the off-season.

“He has the determination and desire to be the best basketball player that can be,” Chism said.

Chism said as a coach he expects the team  to make it to the state level in playoffs, and that he hopes to win, no matter how “monumental” the task seems to be. Chism admits Matthew  McQuaid will play a key role in accomplishing this goal because of his leadership role on the team.

“The boys look up to him and have a great deal of respect for him,” Chism said. “They know that he is a very talented ball player and strives to be the best.”

Matthew McQuaid’s talent and leadership on the court have allowed him many opportunities. Basketball has taken him across the nation.  This summer he attended the Lebron James Skills Academy, where he played along side the NBA All-Star and 2-time world champion himself.

“It was a really great experience,” Matthew McQuaid said. “I learned a lot, and I actually caught an alley-oop from him. That was really cool.”

Above all Matthew McQuaid said his greatest accomplishment so far is committing to Michigan State. He looks forward to heading to college and fulfilling the goal he’s had since he was a child.

“I chose Michigan State because when I went up there, a lot of alumni were there,” Matthew McQuaid said. “It was cool to see that they  really care about their school and come back to show their love. Plus, Coach Tom Izzo is one of the best college coaches in the nation. He really liked me.”

His family has been there for all of his achievements. His father, because of his background as a coach, has always been particularly loud in the stands. Now that Matthew McQuaid is headed to the north for college, they face a new challenge to remain supportive, but they said they won’t let them stop them from cheering him on. They plan to watch the games on television and travel at least once a month to see him live. Matthew McQuaid said their support has always been and will remain to be very important to him.

“The best advice I’ve ever been given was from my dad,” Matthew McQuaid said. “He said to never give up at what you’re doing, whether it’s a sport or something else.”

Mr. McQuaid said he is extremely proud of his son because of who he is as an athlete as well as who he is as a person. He believes Matthew McQuaid is living by the advice he raised him with.

“Matt is the athlete he is today because of his work ethic and passion,” Mr. McQuaid said. “I think when someone is passionate about what they do and then they have the work ethic and drive to work towards goals, that’s what makes someone good. That’s what separates Matt from a lot of other athletes.”



Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Panther Prints Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *