FISHERS — The goals for Pendleton Heights senior Justin Shupe were basically the same as the other 79 participants at the senior basketball showcase Saturday, July 8, at Fishers High School: He wants to do as much as possible to impress the dozens of college scouts in hopes of achieving a college basketball scholarship.
He may treat this opportunity with a bit more urgency than the rest because he’ll only have a year and a half of varsity experience on video for college coaches to see.
“I think they’re pretty important to play well in and separate myself from the other players,” Shupe said of Saturday’s event. “I approach it as give it all I have and try to separate myself.”
After dominating at the junior varsity level as a sophomore, Shupe missed the first 11 games of his junior season due to a disciplinary suspension. When he returned, he contributed immediately to the Arabian offense, scoring 7.2 points per game and handing out 1.2 assists per game.
He said a successful AAU season has helped draw the eye of scouts, despite the limited varsity exposure. Playing at multiple venues across the country will help get him seen by more coaches.
“Our AAU season went pretty well,” Shupe said. “We won two tournaments, and we got to the finals in a lot of them. We have three more, in Indy, Milwaukee and Las Vegas.”
His goals Saturday were simple: To play well and let the chips fall where they may.
“My goals are to get looked at and hopefully talk to some college coaches,” he said. “I just want to show them what I have and go out there and play as hard as I can.”
After an afternoon that included four fast-paced games against other prospective recruits, Shupe was pleased with his performance for the day.
“I feel like I’ve done pretty good,” he said. “I missed a few shots that I should have made and passed up a few shots that maybe I should have taken. Other than that, I think it went pretty well.”
Due to AAU tournament play as well as attending college camps, Shupe is getting the attention of scouts. He said there has been interest but no concrete offers yet.
“My coach said Ferris State, which is Division II, has some interest in me,” he said. “Coach Bates has mentioned Wabash has some interest in me, too, but I haven’t really talked to them or met with them.”
He added the recruiting season will pick up when summer basketball wraps up and the school year begins next month.