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New Hampshire’s Shejdie Childs

March 7, 2003 Columns No Comments

America East Profile: New Hampshire’s Shejdie Childs

by Phil Kasiecki

Shejdie Childs has quickly learned one basic fact of life for someone who goes away to college.

“You can’t depend on your family and other people to help you with things,” the Philadelphia native says, before adding that he’s enjoyed it thus far. “You have to do it yourself, it’s a lot of responsibility. It’s been fun, I had a chance to come and play with a great bunch of guys.”

The freshman point guard leads New Hampshire in scoring (9.8 points) and steals, ranking second in America East in the latter category. He picked up his play in America East competition, scoring over 11 points and handing out nearly three assists per game in conference play. Perhaps most impressive of all is his 50.4% shooting from the field, a figure almost unheard of for a guard. It reflects his shot selection, as well as his unselfishness (he averages just over six field goal attempts per game).

When the new calendar year rolled in and America East play started, Childs picked it up. He had four consecutive double-digit scoring games, capped off by scoring 12 points and handing out 7 assists at Albany on January 11. He was named America East co-Rookie of the Week for that week, and in his first four games he averaged nearly 15 points.

The season has also had mistakes – Childs has more turnovers than assists – but it’s all part of the learning experience for the young floor leader.

“I try to be as consistent as possible,” he says of the biggest thing he has gained from his teammates and coaches thus far. “They’re looking for me to bring the same thing to the table every night, whether it’s defensive intensity, hitting open guys, just getting everybody ready to play.

“They’re always on me, telling me I need to be tough. I’m a point guard, so I need to think like coach thinks on the floor. That’s probably been my hardest transition.”

With his defensive talents, he’s also gained a lot on that end of the floor.

“I’ve had my struggles here and there with defense throughout the season,” Childs said. “It’s discipline now, I’m learning to stay down and work through my fatigue.”

Childs was one of the top seniors in Philadelphia last year, when he helped lead Friends Central to a 26-3 record and the school’s second straight Friends School League title. The quick point guard led the team in assists and steals, the former being no small feat considering his backcourt mate was Mustafa Shakur, an Arizona signee this year who is regarded by most as the top point guard in the class of 2003.

Coming from a championship team to a team struggling in the conference hasn’t been easy, but he likes his teammates and the coaching staff and feels that they have a good future.

“All of (the players) come and work very hard, and the coaching staff is real enthusiastic about the season,” Childs says, adding that he liked the potential of the team in deciding to attend the school in Durham. “(The coaching staff) was bringing some guys in that I thought could all grow together throughout our four years here. I think we have a chance to compete, even though our record isn’t that good right now. Every night, I don’t care who we’re playing, I think that we can win, and I think that’s how everyone on the team feels.”

Childs is the floor leader of a team that is still young, as just two seniors are on a roster loaded with freshmen and sophomores. Childs has help in the backcourt from junior Marcus Bullock, who has struggled shooting this year after a strong sophomore season, as well as quick sophomore Roland Williams and redshirt freshman Ronnie Dennis, the latter of whom led the team in three-point shooting in the regular season. Junior college transfer Griffin Walker and freshman Ioannis Karalis are the primary wing players, the former a good athlete and the latter a lanky lefty shooter. The frontcourt is where more of the experience is, with senior Jeff Senulis and junior Kyle Peterson leading the way. Sophomore Ben Sturgill came on late in the season as well, and could have a big showing and a breakout season next year.

As one of the conference’s many good young talents, Childs likes what he sees for the conference in the coming seasons and looks forward to them.

“I look forward to playing against all of those guys,” he said of the conference’s top new talents. “I think it’s good, in the future the league is just going to get better, get more competitive, there’s going to be more freshmen coming in and making an impact. We just have to step our game up.”

Currently an undecided major, Childs is undecided on his post-basketball future, but as someone from a family with some young kids right now, he thinks his calling will involve them in some respect.

“I think I want to do something working with kids, I love kids,” he says. “I’m just a child person.”

While the odds don’t look good to the casual fan, as the Wildcats are the number eight seed and draw host Boston University in the quarterfinals, Childs expects that the Wildcats will give the Terriers all they can handle.

“You can expect us to come and play hard every day, practice and play hard every day,” he says. “Coach has done his best, done a great job to get us prepared to play teams. It’s just us focusing and getting the job done on the court.”

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