Most players headed to an ACC school to play basketball wouldn’t dare self diagnose themselves the way Holly Springs center Kadin Shedrick does.
Shedrick, the Golden Hawks 6-11 center is heading to the University of Virginia next season after committing to Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers in August. The No. 3 player in the state according to 247sports, Shedrick has seen his stock rise in the rankings. A late bloomer who didn’t start playing basketball full-time until his junior year of high school, Shedrick will head to Charlottesville with realistic expectations of his future.
“They (UVA) develop players, because I’m not a finished product, I have a lot to work on,” Shedrick said after scoring 23 points and 12 rebounds versus Trinity Academy in the City of Oaks Classic on Saturday. “I thought it was the best place for me to develop and get better. I’ll redshirt if I have to and that’s why I decided to go.”
In an era where top prospects look to jump to the next level as fast as they can, Shedrick is fine with the possibility of watching and learning next season in the ACC.
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Shedrick has led Holly Springs to a 13-3 record and a perfect 6-0 mark in conference play. Saturday’s loss to Trinity, 61-60, was the first time this season the Golden Hawks were defeated by a school from North Carolina. Shedrick, the No. 18 center in the country, is averaging a career-high 16.2 points per game and 9.8 rebounds for a team that is expected to make a deep run in the NCHSAA 4A playoffs.
The game against Trinity put Shedrick head-to-head with 2020 five-star prospect Isaiah Todd. After the contest, Shedrick said the much anticipated showdown was “just another game.”
However, playing against Todd, who is 6-10 and handles the ball instead of burying himself in the paint, provided the kind of test that Shedrick felt like he needs.
“I thought it was good for me, to be able to guard somebody like him,” Shedrick said. “I challenged myself to prove that maybe I can guard on the perimeter, which is big for Virginia. I just wanted to come out here and see what I could do.”
Shedrick didn’t start playing basketball full-time until last year. What was his sport of choice before hoops? Baseball.
When he arrived at Holly Springs as a freshman he was only 6’1. As he started to grow, he couldn’t escape the talk of playing basketball.
“He didn’t devote massive time to basketball until pretty late in his high school years,” Golden Eagles head coach L.J. Hepp said. “As he grew, people started saying he had a future in basketball and he started to enjoy it a little more and started working at it.”
Hepp said humility plays a big part in Shedrick’s outlook about his future. Shedrick says he’s been told he has a high ceiling in basketball, but as Hepp put it, Shedrick isn’t looking for instant gratification.
There were offers from mid majors that came throughout the summer, and Shedrick could go somewhere and play right away. According to Hepp, Shedrick has a long-term vision for his career that goes beyond just one season of immediate playing time.
Hepp took over the head coaching job at Holly Springs this summer, and met with Shedrick and his family on May 1. One of the things they talked about over dinner was whether Shedrick was willing to wait for success. Playing right away as a freshman would have provided different options for Shedrick, but the 17 year-old’s thought process was to think about how good could he be when he’s 23.
“That might be a different journey,” Hepp said. “He was willing to do that. He valued that. He is one who is willing to delay gratification and I think it’s part of his intelligence and coming from a strong family. He’s smart enough to figure out that if he really invests in this goal for the long haul at the end of the road he can be pretty good.”
MOTIVATED TO IMPROVE
It’s hard to imagine now, looking at Shedrick dominate on the basketball court, that Hepp had to have a meeting with his center this summer encouraging him to shoot more.
At a team camp the Golden Hawks threw the ball inside to Shedrick about 10 times in the first quarter and each time he passed it back out to a teammate. The next morning, armed with clips from the game the day before, Hepp sat down with Shedrick and explained that they draw up plays for Shedrick with intentions of him dunking and scoring.
“He wasn’t used to being 6’11,” Hepp said. “It was a mindset, it was all new to him.”
Again, Shedrick didn’t walk into Holly Springs at 6’11, and those jayvee years he spent more time watching than playing. And even though he averages double-digit minutes and is, more times than not, the best player on the floor, those developmental days still drive Shedrick.
“He has amazing self awareness,” Hepp said. “We talk a lot to the team about the truth. A lot of kids these days don’t want to hear the truth, a lot of coaches are afraid to share the truth. A huge part of humility is understanding who you are as a player and he really understands that. He understands how he can bring value to this current team.”
Jamie Shaw of Phenom Hoops recruiting service has been watching Shedrick play basketball since he was in eighth grade and said the four-star prospect has improved each summer.
“He’s still coming into his own, strength wise and all that kind of stuff, but he’s able to bring the ball up the floor, handle it, and finish at the rim, he can do that,” Shaw said. “He’s got a full tool kit and he has the ability to work hard.”
He doesn’t show it off too often, but Shedrick can shoot the 3, according to Shaw. His biggest contribution to the game, however, comes on the defensive end.
“I think he’s always had incredible defensive presence, both in the passing lane as well as blocking shots,” Shaw said. “I think he does that on an elite level now, being 6’11 with a 7’0 wingspan.”
OVERLOOKED IN THE STATE
Shedrick is currently ranked No. 3 in North Carolina in the class of 2019 behind Wendell Moore Jr. (Duke commit) and Patrick Williams (Florida State commit).
He’s ranked No. 67 in the country, and might be the most overlooked top 100 player in the state. A lot of that has to do with Shedrick not playing basketball full-time until last season, when he averaged 7.5 points per game for Holly Springs. As a freshman, he only played in 12 games on the Golden Hawks’ jayvee team, averaging just 2.6 points.
The match up against Todd was the first time the duo went head-to-head, even though they both play on the Adidas summer circuit. UNC head coach Roy Williams sat under one basket watching Todd (Carolina offered Todd this summer), who is the No. 2 power forward in the class of 2020.
Shedrick more than held his own, but has only recently gotten the stars beside his name that many feel he deserves. Not that any of that matters.
“I don’t really pay attention to all that stuff,” Shedrick said. “Rankings are just opinions and all that stuff. I just come out and play my hardest every game, give my all and let them think what they want to think.”