Winston Salem, NC- The day finally came, that first Division 1 program finally delivered an offer to 5’9 2021 guard Camian Shell of Parkland HS (NC). Winthrop University of the Big South Conference is the first to offer Shell a hoops scholarship. The dual sports star has defenders bewildered on the football fields and basketball courts.
Long overdue– In three years, literally the only knock I’ve personally ever heard on Shell’s game was “height.” That didn’t limit him from earning Conference POY in the notoriously brutal Piedmont Triad 3A conference. Shell was also named the best player in the Northwest Region by the Winston Salem Journal. In year three, Shell averaged 21.4 points per game; and over five assists, five rebounds, and five steals a game.
Shell led the Mustangs in all those categories this past season (yes even rebounds) and proved to be one of the most polished lead guards in the state. Shell can completely take over games on both ends of the floor. He had six games last season where he went for 30 plus; the youngster can absolutely fill it up from anywhere on the floor and he also had 11 steals in a playoff win.
Shell doesn’t force the issue though with bad shots or a reckless amount of attempts, he is cerebral in the attack and dissecting defenses. Shell finishes with either hand and won’t shy from contact, he’s explosive off the bounce and his first step has proven to be devastating at times. Shell has the floater and mid-range game all small guards need to succeed amongst the trees.
He is a streaky shooter from deep but his most valuable asset may be his feel for the game; it’s unreal. He has the gift of anticipation, he’s always a play or two ahead. Shell is a maestro with the keys of the offense, he’s constantly instructing teammates and getting them into their spots. A true floor general who doesn’t turn the ball over and won’t fold under pressure.
What’s next– This could be the first of many offers and we also believe many college programs here in the Hoop State will be absolutely sick if they miss on Shell and he takes his talents abroad.
North Carolina A&T has shown interest, but it may be wise for more to start looking his way. Shell has been battle-tested against a plethora of highly-touted guards, not only has he held his own but he’s typically a serious problem for his matchup. In the past three years in conference play alone he has matched up with Cam Hayes (NC State), Kobe & Keyshaun Langley (UNCG), Quest Aldrige (Belmont Abbey), and Khalid Hinds to name a few.
What has been said– Head Coach Travis Holcomb Faye and assistant Whit Holcomb Faye, both played with and against Chris Paul. Both also played collegiate basketball, and the brothers have coached Camian year-round in high school and travel ball for several years. Both have seen the similarities between Shell and CP3 while at this stage of their development.
“When Chris was in high school, he was small. You know, he played much bigger than his size. On defense, Chris was a gnat – he’d come up with five or six steals a game, just like Camian does. On offense, he’d go for 30 (points) on you just like that. He could bring the team back from 15 (points) down to help his team win a game. Those are the things I see in Camian” said Coach Travis Holcomb Faye.
“It’s something different when he gets this look in his face and you know it’s time to win the game, as a coach you just feel comfortable. We’ve seen him (Shell) do it time and time again, he’s just a gamer man he brings it every night and in practice,” coach Whit Holcomb-Faye said.
“He reminds me of when we watched Chris Paul growing up into what he became, at this age, Camian is a lot better than Chris was I think,” Coach Whit continued. “Maybe the competition is different so it’s hard to judge, but it’s hard the things he can do I don’t think he has to grow anymore. I think he can do everything at his size now. I’ve seen guards do it at that size so I think the skies the limit for him.
He can be a Patrick Beverly type; he can be a scoring guard, he can be your dog on defense, he can be the facilitator for your offense as well.”
Director of Player Analysis at Phenom Hoops Jeff Bendel said this about Shell.
“Camian Shell has exceeded any possible expectations as a high school player, given the way he came in as a freshman, asserted himself as a leader, and effortlessly dominated a vast majority of opponents. It’s actually shocking and somewhat unsettling how many college coaches have actually watched/evaluated Shell without extending an offer. He’s one of the only sub-six-foot guards in the state that commonly instills fear in opponents. Shell has elite IQ, leadership qualities, and genuinely does just about everything at a high level.”