Living the dream as Dan heads stateside

Reunion of County Upper School basketball players who have gone to the United States to pursue basketball careers. Dan Shaw.
Reunion of County Upper School basketball players who have gone to the United States to pursue basketball careers. Dan Shaw.

DAN Shaw has become the latest player from County Upper School’s Basketball Academy to be offered a scholarship by an American University.

The pupil, from Cambridgeshire, has signed a letter of intent with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks to continue his educational and basketball career with them for the next four years.

Speaking at a reunion training session for other returning County Upper students from American Universities during the week, head coach of the Basketball Academy, Darren Johnson, outlined what Dan can expect out in the States, but warned players not to be dreaming of the NBA.

He said: “They will learn a different culture and a completely different atmosphere out there. Every college has at least three or four courts, it is a different ball game with the amount of money they throw at it, it is definitely a great experience for the lads.

“Everyone wants to play in the NBA but it is ridiculously tough, people just think they want to do the basketball but if you don’t make the grades then you lose your scholarship, it happened to one of our players and he learned the hard way.

“They are living the dream a little bit, they might not be going to the NBA but they are still playing basketball alongside their academic work in the American system, which is what all of these kids came here to do.”

Speaking about Dan playing in Alaska, the coach added: “It is a school with a new coach and they can take care of him and help him academically doing the engineer course that he really wanted.

“We have told him to do his best because he knows if he gets his degree he has something to fall back on and then see what you can do with the basketball.”

Shaw himself knows the challenge of living in Alaska is tough and although he has one eye on a career in Engineering, he is determined to fulfill his potential on the basketball court, even if it isn’t with the NBA.

He said: “My degree in Alaska is a civil engeneering course and that is something I would look to do if the basketball doesnt work out.

“But basketball is the dream for me and something I definitely want to accomplish. Everyone dreams of playing in the NBA but if Europe is where I need to go and play then I will take that opportunity.”