A native of LaSalle, Richard Shaw, was a big athlete (6-foot, 11 inches) with big talent that ultimately led him to star in two sports – most notably basketball – turning the heads of scouts and recruiters along the way.
Locally, Shaw attended Sandwich Secondary School. His impressive height made Shaw a natural centre but his hands, shooting touch, leaping and footwork also made him much more than just the tall guy on the court. In the 1993-94 season, Shaw led his Sandwich Sabres to a 40-5 season that culminated in SWOSSAA and OFSAA AA titles, the first in school history. Shaw’s stats were attention-grabbing that season. He averaged a remarkable 28.5 points-per-game, grabbed 15.4 rebounds a game, 6.3 blocked shots and 4.0 steals – truly the definition of a complete package.
This outstanding high school career paved Shaw’s way to a scholarship at Marquette University – a school with an impressive basketball pedigree. He ended his college career, lettering in four seasons and ranked eighth all-time in Marquette’s history for blocked shots. Shaw was also named the team’s most improved player in 1998.
“Playing basketball in the U.S. for a big-time program was unbelievable,” Shaw remembers. “It was a lot of work, time and commitment but it was all worth it and taught me so much.”
Thinking of the most memorable opponents Shaw played against brought forward a familiar name to basketball fans across the globe – Steve Nash. After Shaw’s Golden Eagles toppled Nash’s Santa Clara Broncos in a lopsided win, Shaw says he shared a hug with Nash. Shaw still treasures the flattering quotations about his game and abilities that Nash provided the press in his post-game interviews.
Not just a one-sport star, Shaw attracted attention from baseball scouts too. He was drafted as a pitcher by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1993 and by the California Angels in 1996. While basketball became Shaw’s number one sport, his relationship with baseball goes back further, playing locally in Windsor, LaSalle and Tecumseh.
“Baseball was my first love and I had been fortunate enough to be able to throw the ball pretty hard which led to me being drafted by the Dodgers while in Grade 12,” Shaw said. Shaw did not pursue baseball, however, and went the basketball route instead. He felt he was still a raw talent as baseball went, in need of a knowledgeable pitching coach. From a basketball perspective, his talents were more refined.
Playing two sports, however, was not complicated for him. The schedules of basketball and baseball seldom conflicted. Shaw also felt the different skill acquisition from each sport proved beneficial and he enjoyed learning from different coaches and making friends with different teammates.
Still involved in the sport, Shaw runs Shaw’s Hoops Dreams that emphasizes basketball fundamentals for boys and girls ages 7-17 that want to improve their skills. Shaw says sharing his basketball experience with kids from the local community has been very fulfilling. Coaching and player development has become his passion.
For his hardcourt heroics, Richard Shaw can proudly take his place in the Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in the Athlete category (basketball).