ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Shane O’Dell has no doubt he’ll be playing basketball at the next level. He just doesn’t know where yet. With the NCAA extending its dead period for recruiting through May, the Schalmont senior is stuck in the process. It’s the latest speed bump in what’s already been a rocky road.
Schalmont Head Coach Greg Loiacono has been by O’Dell’s side through it all. “The poor kid,” Loiacono said. “Last year, which was a big recruiting year for the City Rocks team that he was on, he rolled his ankle really bad three minutes into the first live period.”
The injury essentially ended O’Dell’s summer, and prevented college coaches from seeing him play. That set the recruiting process back in a major way.
“It’s definitely been really stressful,” O’Dell said recounting the past year. “I kinda just tuned it all out during the season, but now that the season’s over, it’s coming back.”
O’Dell led Schalmont to the program’s first Section 2 championship this century, pacing the Sabres with 27.8 points and 18.7 rebounds per game as a senior. He eclipsed 2,000 points and 1,000 boards in his career, catching the attention of some college coaches. He’s currently sitting on offers from Saint Rose and Daemen. While he’s keeping all of his options open, playing Division II basketball isn’t his ultimate goal.
“I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level possible,” he said.
O’Dell has interest from several Division I programs, including Vermont, New Hampshire, Colgate, and Davidson, but now it’s tricky. For example, according to Loiacono, New Hampshire wants O’Dell to visit the campus, but that can’t happen until June 1 at the earliest. So he can’t meet the players, coaches, or see the facilities. The same goes for all of the prospective schools, which makes finding the right fit increasingly difficult.
On his wish list, O’Dell wants to go to a program with a winning culture, where he can play immediately. After all, he believes he’ll be an asset right away.
He describes himself as “a guy that can do everything on the court: pass, shoot, play defense, has a high IQ.”
Despite the frustrations that come with the delays, he knows he can’t do anything to speed up this process. So he’s staying in shape by playing with his older brothers in the driveway, and he’s trying to heed their advice.
According to Shane, they told him, “Just keep working. Don’t overthink anything. Don’t stress too much about it. Everything’s gonna work itself out. You’re gonna find the right fit.”