The legend of Paul Morgan is growing, and his Salisbury (Md.) Wicomico High boys' basketball teammates have given the 4-foot-10 freshman point guard an appropriate nickname: "Bunyan."
As in Paul Bunyan.
“The players on varsity treat him like he’s a varsity player, and he was almost a full-time varsity player,” Wicomico JV coach Doug King told USA TODAY for a fantastic feature on his undersized floor general. “They were the ones who came up with the Paul Bunyan nickname, and it’s kind of funny that it’s stuck with him. It’s a good one because of his size and when you think of Paul Bunyan, and it fits him well."
Splitting time between Wicomico's varsity and JV squads, Morgan scored his first varsity points in a 73-40 blowout of rival Mardela (Md.) High last month, draining 3-of-5 3-pointers to finish with nine points to go along with four assists. According to MaxPreps, he has appeared in four games for the Indians.
“Because I’m so small, I have to shoot from a far distance," Morgan told the paper, adding that while his ideal height is 6-foot-4, he'd take 5-foot-6 at this point. "I have to jump, shoot higher and make sure it has a good arc so I can get it as high as I can to get it over my defender.”
Morgan reportedly weighs 80 pounds and wears a size 5 shoe. He's the shortest player on the varsity Indians roster by 11 inches, and the Wicomico's biggest player -- 6-foot-7, 320-pound junior center Andrew Houck -- weighs four times as much as the young dynamo.
“Most of the people that see him play say, ‘aww isn’t that a cute little kid,’ until they see him play,” Wicomico varsity coach Butch Waller added. “Once he makes a behind-the-back pass or is hitting 3-pointers from the top of the key, or makes a crossover dribble on a defender and leaves him, people see he can play. ...
“In my 48 years here, I can’t remember any school with a guard that talented, that young and that small. ”
Every great diminutive point guard needs an equally fantastic nickname, and now Paul "Bunyan" Morgan has one to rival 5-foot-3 Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues and 5-foot-7 Anthony "Spud" Webb.