By Christian Ulrich, Feb. 15, 2022
On Jan. 20, Phoenix Shackelford etched his name in Cal Poly Pomona history as he scored 1,000 points in 100 games, becoming one of 17 CPP men’s basketball players to score over 1,000 points.
CPP played at home against Cal State San Marcos on Jan. 20. CSU San Marcos was no easy opponent for Shackelford and the Broncos. After starting the game with four straight misses, Shackelford decided to make an impact elsewhere. Late in the first half, Shackelford went up for an offensive rebound and the rest is history.
Shackelford spoke about his thoughts on game day.
“The 1,000 point milestone was in the back of my mind, but I was trying my best to not think about it,” said Shackelford. “It was definitely memorable. I went up for an offensive rebound, two San Marcos players collided with each other and somehow the ball ended up in my hands and I scored it.”
Shackelford, a CPP guard, has never shied away from adversity. This mentality was instilled in him by his family at a young age and has been the basis of his collegiate career thus far.
His love for basketball began at 3 years old. Shackelford would play with his older sister and other kids who were much bigger than him. Their size, age and experience posed a challenge for him.
“I fell in love with the challenges thrown at me; I embraced them,” said Shackelford.
These experiences helped him become a leader on the court and in the community.
As a team leader, Shackleford helps his teammates get better every day and has always encouraged them to work on themselves.
“Be a sponge out there, break down your bad habits and develop good ones,” said Shackelford when talking about his mentorship.
When not with his teammates, Shackelford enjoys passing on his knowledge to the next generation. During the offseason, he loves holding basketball classes where he can teach children from a wide age range. He mentions the importance of putting himself in their shoes, remembering how he saw things as a child and trying not to overload them with information.
Before starting his career with CPP in 2017, Shackelford attended Vanden High School in Fairfield, California and grew up in Vallejo, California with current teammates BJ Standley and Tavian Henderson. He spoke about how his mentality changed during this time.
“I was taught about going to the gym instead of playing video games,” said Shackelford. These influences helped shape his work ethic.
Shackelford credits his parents with having him try out different sports to learn which one he liked best. He mentioned that for some reason, basketball just stuck with him.
Shackelford comes from a very athletic family. His parents, sister, and his uncles played sports at the collegiate level. Shackelford was adamant that his family pushed him to this point and that he will continue to use their wisdom in future endeavors.
With his strong athletic drive and hard work, Shackelford plans to play professionally after CPP. He plans to do so for as long as he enjoys it.
“I was taught that when it’s not fun anymore, it might be time to hang it up,” said Shackelford.
Feature photo courtesy of Tyler Lobe.
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