From a Tiger to a Soldier

After finishing varsity ONU basketball, senior Antonio Marshall signed with the Kankakee County Soldiers as their backup point guard. Photo by Ethan Barse.

By David Parker

For Antonio Marshall, playing basketball goes beyond Olivet.

Recently, the senior guard signed to play for the Kankakee County Soldiers of the Independent Basketball Association (IBA)

“I know it’s a step forward from collegiate athletics, and although it may not be a huge step, it’s another step in my career,” Marshall said.

The opportunity came from his friendship with Stan Chismark a guard with the Soldiers who graduated from Olivet in 2006.

Chismark originally asked Marshall to help coach one of the Example Sports teams, the AAU youth basketball program the Soldiers sponsor. They talked about other summer plans when Chismark said there were probably positions open with the Soldiers.

Barry Bradford, the owner of the Soldiers, then met with Marshall to talk about coaching and training this summer.The conversation led to the possibility of Marshall becoming the backup point guard for the Soldiers. He was signed shortly after his season with Olivet ended earlier this month.

Marshall, who has played in two games with the Soldiers thus far, discovered playing for the team is a unique experience.

“It’s very different from the Olivet basketball team; [I’m] playing with a lot of older guys,” Marshall said. “The style of play is different, and the game is played a lot faster. It’s a higher level. It’s a step above collegiate play.”

Despite the difficulties, he is enjoying the new experience.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue playing basketball while I’m finishing school,” Marshall said. “And [to] see the business aspect of basketball while getting to know people who play professionally, which is something I’m still trying to do.”

However, Marshall, an elementary education major, is unsure how much he’ll be able to play in the future.

“I have student teaching next summer, so I’m going to be here until winter to play in the fall league. If other doors open, I’ll see about them, but right now I’m content where I’m at.”

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