Third Canadian Hoops Star Coming To Hamilton Heights

Shelton-Szmidt Joins Kigab, Alexander On Hawks Roster

  • Monday, July 20, 2015
  • Larry Fleming

Hamilton Heights began building its basketball program by establishing a talent pipeline to Europe.

Now, the program is tapping another fertile territory north of the border.

On Monday, Therren Shelton-Szmidt, another top-ranked player from Canada, has decided to play with the Hawks this coming season.

Shelton-Szmidt, a 6-foot-5-inch shooting guard and ranked No. 7 by Hoops Hype Canada, will join two other Canadian players – Abu Kigab and Shai Alexander – at Hamilton Heights. Kigab, ranked No. 1, and Alexander, rated No. 17, announced their plans earlier this month.

“On the floor his fluidity and skill-set standout,” head coach Zach Ferrell said of Shelton-Szmidt. “He’s very smooth and has a great looking shot. He’s a great player with great length with very good athleticism. I’m really excited about him joining the program and school family.”

All three players are rising juniors and currently play with adidas UPLAY Canada on the summer circuit. Kigab and Alexander will play up in the U-17 adidas Uprising Summer Championships in Las Vegas on July 22-26.  Kigab has three college scholarship offers from Duquesne, St. Bonaventure and Binghamton, picking up all of them this past weekend.

With 6-foot-11-inch Abdul Ado, one of the top center prospects in the 2016 recruiting class, prepping for his senior season, the Canadians bolster the Hawks’ ultimate goal of competing with the country’s elite teams for national prominence.

The big “Canadian Splash” may have put Hamilton Heights on the fast track to reaching that goal.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to achieve all along,” said Duke Stone, headmaster at Hamilton Heights. “We want to be a Top 50 team in the country only if we can do the right way. We won’t take just anybody. UPlay contacted us in February saying they were interested in sending some players our way. They came down in June and that’s when I met Shai. He worked out with us.

“We have pretty good contacts with college coaches. Some of them from high-major schools told us these kids are really good. All three are special players and Abu has a shot of being a really special player. He’s a top 50-type player, like Ado, only he’s better offensively at a different position. He really exploded on scene last weekend, going from an unknown to the No. 1 player over a six-month period.”

Stone said that Shelton-Szmidt, who is from Loyola, Ontario, most likely completes the Hawks’ 2015-16 roster.

“Yeah, we’re probably done,” he said. “If we see the second coming of Michael Jordan we’d take him. We were working with two players from Canada and we got one of them – Shelton-Szmidt.”

The newest Hawks have received strong recruiting interest from the Big Five Conferences (SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac 10), especially after their team won the prestigious U-16 NY2LASports tournament in Minneapolis, Minn.

“We’re hoping to have six or seven players who potentially can have Division I offers,” Stone said.

Notes: The Hawks will host a four-team tournament at Chattanooga State on Nov. 20-21. They will be joined in the two-day tourney by The Rock, out of Gainesville, Fla., Central Park, from Birmingham, Ala., and a team from Kentucky. … Hamilton Heights will also appear in the McCallie tournament, along with national power Oak Hill Academy, which went 47-1 this past season, suffering its only loss in a season-ending national tournament sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods at Madison Square Garden, and Chattanooga Central. The Hawks will play Central and Oak Hill while McCallie takes on Oak Hill and Central. … It also has been announced the Hawks will compete in a prestigious tournament in Florida, in addition to the Huntington (W.Va.) Prep Invitational.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)



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