A conversation with a young budding basketball star from the Schenectady Area
Our youth hold the world in their hands. They are growing, learning, and becoming right before our eyes, and their stories hold some of the most weight in our neighborhoods because of the fact that they wield the future of our communities in their hands. For many of them in our communities, they are surrounded by paraphernalia that is doomed by hopelessness. However, in all that darkness there is light, and at times, that light comes through sport.
Recently I came into contact with a young budding star in the prep circuit by the name of Ike Sheppard. At age 19, he is now 1 year removed from high school and just completed his 1st year at OSL.
His story is one of intrigue as he took an unconventional route into his basketball stardom. Being that he played organized basketball for a year a SHS at the JV level. It is important to shine a light on stars that didn’t go through the same conventional circuits that we’re used to. Here’s his story.
What is your overall experience with basketball?
My overall experience with basketball is good rn I’m just trying to learn new things an just keep getting better to be the best team player I can be I learned that every game isn’t gonna a great game but it’s the little stuff that matters.
How long have you been playing basketball?
I’ve been playing basketball as a hobby since around 13 but I got serious an played for my first team when I was 15 going on
I was in an out of secure placement so I used basketball as a coping skill .
What got you into basketball?
When I first started I only saw myself playing for Schenectady high but I got a name faster than I thought
Where do you see basketball taking you?
Basketball has brought me around the world in the last few years and now I’m an NYC sectional champion and MVP
Sheppard has a tall-lengthy build that is valued in the modern-day NBA because of its versatility. A three-level scorer that values the game of Carmelo Anthony in his words, Ike averaged 26pt ,11reb,4blks,4assists per game last season at OSL. Now preparing for the next level, Ike is seeking out colleges and redefining his ambitions, goals, and motives to get to the best step.
What colleges are you looking at?
I wanted to play for Syracuse like Melo but I have to go juco to improve my gpa
What’s your favorite food?
My favorite food is bacon cheeseburgers
What are some hobbies you’re into?
outside of basketball are playing 2k is a hobby I’m into
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and why?
If I could change one thing in the world it would be racism because we’ve lost a lot of family and friends due to it
What are some things you would want to add to your community when you make it big?
If I was to make it out I’d make more recreational centers for the children and adults too because it would decrease a lot of problems we’re having rn
And also what things do you do now to teach those younger than you or would want to teach those younger than you?
I want to teach the kids to never give up and just have respect not just for others but themselves
Sheppard has gobs of potential and is preparing to just scratch the surface of what he can do. As we have only seen the tip of the iceberg of what Sheppard has accomplished, it is imperative for us to keep a keen eye on his journey as he’s preparing for the next lap in his marathon. He is now preparing to take the Juko route in Marshalltown, Iowa as he continues to chase his basketball aspirations.