When Shannon Cranshaw was 14, she committed to the University of Georgia. But after reopening her recruiting last season, she's now headed to George Washington University.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Shannon Cranshaw recently made a decision a lot of high school seniors make: She picked a college to attend. However, Cranshaw’s decision involved a basketball scholarship and the end of her recruitment for the second time.
Cranshaw, a guard for Father Lopez, verbally committed to George Washington University as part of head coach Jonathan Tsipis’ first recruiting class.
“George Washington started their interest in me about a half-year ago,” Cranshaw said. “They were very aggressive with contacting me. I felt like I had the best relationship with them.”
This is Cranshaw’s second college commitment. She committed to the University of Georgia after her freshman year and decommitted during last season.
Early commitments have become standard for college basketball. And as a result, some players decide to reopen their recruiting as they get closer to national signing day their senior year.
For Cranshaw, her decommitment had a lot to do with Georgia assistant coaches leaving the program for other SEC and ACC programs. She said she thought it was only fair to reevaluate a decision she had made when she was 14.
“Initially, I looked at things in perspective of their basketball success, and I didn’t really look at academic and athletic opportunities,” Cranshaw said when talking about the process leading up to her first commitment. “And I want to be a neurosurgeon one day. So that was a big part of George Washington.”
Cranshaw, who said she was also considering a few Ivy League schools, said the academics and the post-basketball opportunities made George Washington stand out.
“Her big reason for going to a high-level (school) is her versatility,” said Brad Ridenour, Father Lopez girls basketball head coach. “I mean, her skill set is better, probably, than anybody we’ve seen here in Volusia County.”
Ridenour said her ability to shoot, pass, play defense and handle the ball make it easy for her to play both point guard and shooting guard and will help her get early playing time.
“I think I’ll play a lot of point guard and off-the-ball a little bit, too,” Cranshaw said. “They see me as a versatile player that can play on the perimeter — really, anywhere. They see me as a pretty intricate role in their system.”
In addition to the academic lure, the hire of Tsipis, who spent eight years as an assistant coach of powerhouse Notre Dame, signaled a shift in the program and made it appealing to Cranshaw.
“They were a perennial Top 25 program up until 2007-08, actually,” Cranshaw said. “I didn’t know that until I started to be recruited. They had some coaching changes, and I think they’re trying to bring back this new era of basketball and get them back to where they were.
“I think under the new coaching staff, that’s where they’re headed. I’m glad to be a part of it.”