Shammar Campbell signs with Niagara College
The most important influence in Shammar Campbell’s life was unable to be present Thursday when the Welland Notre Dame star committed to play basketball for the Niagara College Knights men’s basketball program.
It was a big day for the 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward, who lost his father Andrew to lung cancer about a year ago,
“He is always in my thoughts and my mind,” the 18-year-old Welland resident said. “He is with me every day and every time I play he is my head and I am thinking he is in the stands, watching me, laughing and all that.”
His father was always supportive and never over the top.
“He was one that pushed me every time,” the 12B student said. “He was always working really hard and he wanted me to push myself to be something else. That’s what motivates me.”
Campbell has been the definition of a motivated player.
“He has worked so hard and come so far in the last couple of years and something like this is great for him,” Notre Dame head coach Mark Gallagher said.
He saw Campbell gain a lot more confidence and watched him have a big year between Grade 11 and Grade 12.
“He physically grew up and got comfortable with his body,” Gallagher said. “And then in the last year, he has worked on his game. As you can see, he keeps getting better and better and everything came together for him.”
Campbell knew his hard work might pay off and that made him work even harder.
“My coach told me that I was doing well this year and that people were looking at me and that gave me confidence,” he said. “I kept playing harder and thought that this might be my year.”
He focused on many aspects of his game.
“I worked on the mental part of it first. I had to get confident and figure out the stuff I needed to do,” he said. “I went in the gym and in the weight room and trained so I could gain more weight to be able to play my position. And I played hard. Really hard.”
Niagara was an easy choice for Campbell.
“I like the environment,” he said. “I went to their workout one time and I loved the energy and I love how coach Phil (Mosley) coaches. I fell in love.”
It didn’t hurt that the college is in Welland.
“It’s close by which is great and it’s convenient,” he said.
Campbell was far more than a convenient recruit for Niagara.
“For us, size was something we were looking for, We were looking for a quality big guy and he has been on our radar for more than a year,” Mosley said. “I really like what he does in terms of running the floor but he is your classic big man in this area. He can score inside, he is a strong rebounder and has all the skills that we were looking for.”
Campbell didn’t shoot the three much with Notre Dame — why would he when he was so tough to stop inside — but Mosley thinks that’s something that will come.
“We think Shammar is a kid who will develop both an inside and an outside game. Right away, we want to get working on his skill set facing the basket as well,” he said. “I think he has endless potential and from what his coaches say, he is a late starter to the game.
“The progress he has made from that point and even the progress he has made in the last year gets you really excited in terms of his potential and what his growth is.”
Mosley also likes that Campbell is already a physical specimen.
“At 6-foot-6, he has got a nice frame and clearly we will want him to add some strength and muscle, but his frame can hold it,” he said. “He’s a big strong player.”
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