Courtesy: Walker County Messenger
By Scott Herpst

tyler

One of the north Georgia area’s most versatile and consistent players is taking his considerable talents to Georgia Northwestern.

LaFayette senior Tyler Shropshire, a second-team Region 7-AAAA selection, signed his letter of intent to join to Bobcats during a ceremony at LHS this past Thursday.

“I’ve got to thank God and everyone from LaFayette High School for getting me to where I’ve gotten and now that I’m getting ready to play college basketball,” Shropshire said. “Most importantly, I have to thank (LaFayette head) Coach (Hank) Peppers. He’s been there almost every day after school, working around my schedule, to help me on my shooting and my game.”

Shropshire, a 6-footer that can play at guard or small forward, burst onto the north Georgia basketball scene as a sophomore and has only improved since.

He poured in 13.5 points a game for the Ramblers this past season, adding 6.7 rebounds and nearly two steals a game while shooting 38 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

“Tyler has worked hard and he’s improved as much from his freshman year until now as any player I’ve ever seen,” Peppers explained. “I’ve known him since he was in the sixth grade when he was running around the (LaFayette) rec center trying to play with the older guys, but he finally started growing taller one day. I’m proud of him. He’s worked hard and he deserves it, and I’m glad he’s going to be playing close by so we can still go watch him play.”

Shropshire said he was motivated after seeing very little playing time as a ninth grader.

“I didn’t get much playing time as a freshman, even on the JV team,” he said. “I really worked hard on my game after that season because I hate not getting to play, and it paid off.”

Bobcats head coach David Stephenson said he was excited to have Shropshire in the fold, and not just because of his on-court skills.

“If you talk to any of his coaches or anyone else who knows him, they all say (Tyler) is a good kid, and at the end of the day, Georgia Northwestern is first and foremost about getting good character,” said the veteran coach. “We like recruiting the local kids and we think we have found a good one in Tyler.

“We’ll have an opening at the 2 spot, and if he adds some size he could play the 3, but with his talent and versatility we could play him at about three different positions, depending on what we need. We are looking for people who can not only take it to rim, but finish at the rim, and he does that very well from what we’ve seen in person and on film.”

Shropshire said he considers himself a point guard, but said he is willing to play anywhere that helps his team.

“I just want to be out there,” he said. “If someone’s running the court better at point guard, I’ll play the 2 or wherever, just as long as I’m out there playing, winning and making my teammates better.”

Shropshire said he would one day like to be a teacher and a coach at his alma mater.

“Coaching at LaFayette would be great,” he added. “I just really love basketball and I’d love to be around it for the rest of my life.”