He began in New Jersey, home to some of the top talent in the nation, and now, residing in West Virginia, he uses the summer as a complement to his high school season and a chance to head back east to showcase his talents on the camp circuit.
“New Jersey has a lot of competition and a lot of elite players,” says Shields. “The talent isn’t quite as high in West Virginia, so that’s why I like this camp because I can play against a good mix of players and good competition. It really helps my game.”
At Hoop Group Elite Session I, Shields has been a standout performer. The 6-6 guard/forward is lanky, but is learning how to use his body effectively to do a range of things on the offensive end.“I’ve got the ability to go inside and out,” he says. “If I have a slower defender on me, I can make a move and go to the basket, but if I have a quicker defender, I can use my height and use some push moves to get to the rim.
“It really helps because I can play a guard position or a big position, wherever I fit on the team.”
Most of the interest Shields has drawn so far has been from Division II programs, though he says this summer will be the defining time for his basketball future. If he can do a few select things, he thinks he can create a buzz during the live recruiting period.
“I’m still working toward D-I,” he says. “I have to hit the weight room. As soon as I get home from camp, I’m going to the weight room. And I’ll work on my jumpshot, dribble pull-ups, all that.”
Division II and III coaches took notice of Shields early at Hoop Group Elite, pointing out his length and size as keys to a coachable and possibly high-impact player.
Follow Daniel Martin on Twitter: @DanielJMartin_