Shipman Excels in "Other" Sport

Rayford Shipman knows what people think when he enters a gym. Football player who can't play basketball. However, the Pace High (Fla.) junior guard has proven otherwise and has excelled on the hardwood.

Rayford Shipman knows what they think when he walks into a gym.

``When they see my body and see I'm muscular, they don't think I'm going to do anything," said the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Pace High (Fla.) junior guard. "I have a chip on my shoulder because everyone thinks I'm a football player."

Shipman used to be a football player, but not any more. He's a standout basketball player now, averaging 21 points, 7 boards and 3 assists per game.

``Football was my first sport growing up," he said. "I grew up playing running back and linebacker and they switched me to wide receiver and safety in high school. It just wasn't fun any more so I stopped playing."

Shipman, who has a 4.5 GPA (in honors classes) is still trying to recover from a sub-par performance at the City of Palms in which his team dropped a pair to Liberty Tech and American Christian.

``That was my chance," Shipman admitted. "But we'll get another chance next year and it just makes me hungrier."

Shipman's biggest strength is his ability to score, but he's not focused on putting up 30 a night. Instead, he's more concerned about working on the other aspects of his game – passing and rebounding.

The college recruiting process is starting to heat up with coaches coming down to Pace to watch him play. Thus far, the schools who have emerged include Georgia Tech, Florida, Miami, Clemson, Kansas State and LSU.

``A lot of people think I'm trying to stay close to home, but it's really not a big problem to go away – if I can make an impact to the team as a freshman," Shipman said. ``Then it can be anywhere."

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