- Article appeared originally on the official FIBA U17 World Championship event website kaunas2012.fiba.com -

KAUNAS (heinnews) – Whenever Marial Shayok has a basketball question, the Canadian talent knows he can call his family – and any number of choices for that matter.

Shayok laughs at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship when he talks about the backyard games of his youth as his father played college and professional basketball and his older sister and brother are both playing college hoops in the United States.

“The backyard games were really fun. My brother is still the best out of all of us. My sister used to be, but it’s probably my brother now,” said Shayok.

“But my dad still thinks he can beat all of us.”

Shayok’s father Makur was born in Sudan but played at the University of Dayton from 1990 to 1992 before a professional career overseas. Marial’s sister Yar Shayok is in her final season at Detroit Mercy and was an all-conference player, while his brother Shayok Shayok just finished his freshman season at Bradley University.

Yar and Marial’s other two older sisters were all born in Sudan. His brother was born in Dayton and the 1.96m shooting guard himself in Canada.

When asked what he takes most from his father, Shayok said probably his understanding of the game.

“He knows a lot about the game. He always tells me a lot of stuff – his IQ and his decision-making and how to read defenders,” said Shayok, who leads Canada in scoring and steals and is second in rebounds and assists after the group stage of the U17 Worlds.

“When I was young he made me work on my dribbling skills and my passing skills.”

Shayok is drawing more and more attention because of his stellar play. He has yet to decide where he will attend college prep school for the next two seasons – IMG, Brewster or Blair Academy.

He also plans on attending college in the USA with a number of schools already expressing interest in the small forward.

“I want to play at a bigger school that can get me into the league (NBA) if possible,” said Shayok.

One thing is certain, playing at the U17 Worlds in Kaunas has been a big help.

“We get a lot of teaching from the coach. And it’s helped learn to stay together in tough times and control my emotions,” said Shayok.

And he also knows he can call home for a tip or two more as well.

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