Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Catching up with Richmond's Brittani Shells

We caught up with delightful and candid Brittani Shells, who leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring with 16.5 ppg. The Spiders junior, listed as 5-7, recently became made the buzz list for the Nancy Lieberman Award. She has been Richmond's high scorer in 19 of 26 games and is No. 1 in the conference in steals (2.7 spg).

How'd you land at Richmond?
My junior year I wasn't heavily recruited. Maryland had been recruiting me even after they won the national championship and then it just stopped. I was like 'Great,' but then I realized that wasn't God's plan for me. I still could have gone to Vanderbilt, Boston College, Temple, but it seemed like Richmond wanted me more.

You're a marked woman this year....
Be careful what you wish for! I love to work hard and I love to be in the gym. At the same time, it's frustrating. I'm 5-6 putting up shots against 6-footers.

What would you like to work on in your game?
I need to work on a pure pull-up jumper. They put a lot of tall girls on me.

You're related to someone famous....
Tamecka Dixon (one of the original WNBA players, Dixon announced her retirement last week). She's my cousin. I spoke to her on the phone last week. She said everything was going fine in Italy. She said when I go up to New Jersey this summer, she'll work me out.

Who do you like to watch in the game?

Allen Iverson has always been my all time favorite player. I love Stephen Curry. He's deadly from the outside.

Given your from Delaware (Camden, to be exact), do you know Elena Delle Donne?

I played against her in AAU. Her dad gave me a couple of compliments, once. I went to high school a couple of hours away from her, so I don't really know her.

Your major?
I'm majoring in communication and I was minoring in theater, but that turned out to be something different than what I originally thought it was, so I'm going to change that. I actually want to go into entertainment, the film industry, and focus on editing.

You must love movies. Have a favorite?
"Love and Basketball," of course. I also have to say "The Great Debaters." Favorite actor, I'd have to say Denzel Washington, he's good. I like Omar Epps, too."

Do you Twitter?

"I don't Twitter. I'm scared nobody would follow me!"

Outside of basketball, tell us more about yourself.

I'm a strong person who loves the Lord. I'm a leader in FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). I like to spend time with other believers. I go to Bible study all the time. I hate partying.

Like to read?

I read the Bible every day. And I love "The Great Gatsby."

A lot of Hill Songs. They're a Christian group. I love Jay-Z. I like a lot of Christian rap.

It's been a topsy-turvey ride for the Spiders (16-10, 5-6 A-10). The wheels came off in Dayton (Spiders fell 83-31 behind 18 percent shooting and are 2-6 in their last eight games.) But Richmond led No. 7 Xavier with 3:45 left only to drop that one 67-55. Coach Michael Shafer benched three of his starters early against St. Bonaventure a week ago, and a buzzer beater cost them Sunday's game against St. Joseph's. Shafer went out of his way to say how proud he was of the Spiders' effort in that one.
"Dayton, I have to say 'Wow." That was a tough game mentally and physically. I'd have to say that was a fluke. We got down on ourselves. (Against St. Bonaventure), honestly, I can't even lie. Kara Powell, the point guard and I were confused. Maybe he was saying I wasn't playing hard enough or I wasn't playing hard in practice. .... He seems OK with me now, and I'm OK. Hopefully we can go out and finish strong.

Any story behind the "I" in your first name?

My mom. She had to be different.

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