Nate Olson, who has worked as a contributor for Sporting Life Arkansas and is currently the editor of Sync magazine, caught up with Basil Shabazz, former Pine Bluff, Ark., multi-sport prep star and record-setting athlete back in the early and mid 1990s.
As our Evin Demirel wrote back in December, it’s time for a film about Arkansas’ own Bo Jackson. Evin put it this way:
More than 20 years after his heyday he holds a power over the people who saw him that is unmatched by other Arkansan athletes. I’ve spoken to people who saw Shabazz play, guys like KATV’s Steve Sullivan and Wadie Moore, the longtime Arkansas Gazette prep sports editor, and there is an unmistakable glimmer in the eye and a lift in the voice when they discuss memories of Shabazz.
At Pine Bluff High School, he electrified in football, track, baseball and track. He didn’t even play baseball until his senior year, then flashed enough potential to get drafted in the third round by St. Louis. He set state records in track events he hadn’t even trained for.