Micah Salamon provides key senior leadership for Shipley boys’ basketball

Micah Salamon had just finished his first boys’ basketball game for the Shipley third team when he got called into the coach’s office.

Unsure what was happening, Salamon was informed he was being moved up to the junior varsity team due to an injury. Playing a key role in his promotion were varsity senior captains Ronald Ridgeway, Jamie Piltch and Zach Tillman along with junior varsity coach Jim Kerr.

“The seniors were asked who should be moved up to the JV and the captains said the kid with the goggles,” said Salamon. “He hustles and plays hard. That meant a lot they thought to give me a chance because I gave it my all every play.”

“Micah brings the same level of intensity and focus to the court in games and practices every time we hit the floor,” said Shipley boys’ basketball head coach Phil D’Ambrosio “He’s been a spectacular addition to the program and his teammates and coaches know what we’re going to get from him on a consistent basis – toughness, defense and scrappyness.”

Fast forward three years and that same kid with the goggles is now starting for the varsity, thanks to doing the same things he did on the court since he started playing. Although it’s rare to see his name in the box score what’s more important is what his teammates and coaches see every day whether it’s at practice or in games.

Salamon said, “When I first started playing I did not realize you could move up that quick. I thought since I was on third team that was where I would spend freshman year before moving up to bench on JV during sophomore year and eventually making to varsity. Being able to be recognized and appreciated by coaches and players means a lot. I just want to help my team win games. I believe my teammates and I feed off each other.”

“You typically see Micah dive on the floor at least three times a game,” said junior Kiyon Hardy. “He is our best defender who shows you that hustle and defense can get you anywhere. Anyone can score but you don’t always see people willing to dive on the floor after loose balls. That’s what Micah has shown us.”

D’Ambrosio added, “Micah is our x-factor, doing all of the little things necessary to help us compete. Diving on the floor, hitting the boards, defending and moving without the basketball. As well as being an efficient shooter. He is a pleasure to coach because he works hard and is a very respectful and humble person.”

For the past three years Shipley has been through plenty of peaks and valleys but through it all they knew the one constant that would help them push through was staying together as a unit.

“Our team motto is “JUNCTA JUVANT” meaning strength in unity,” said D’Ambrosio. “We put a strong emphasis on everybody “contributes”. There are many roles to fill on a basketball court and we stress that to all of our guys. Find ways to pitch in!”

“Our team has definitely changed over the last two years since I started playing,” said sophomore Sam Sessoms. “When I started it felt like we were just teammates. Now it feels like we are more of a family. We don’t worry about stats. We just care about winning and Micah has been important with that. He just cares about winning and he will do anything to help the team do that.”

With Salamon aiding into the team buying into that philosophy, the Gators have picked up key wins over Stroudsburg High School, Haverford School and Barrack Hebrew Academy along with showing they can compete with perennial powers like Episcopal Academy, Germantown Academy and Lower Merion High School.



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