Shoun inks with Virginia Intermont

By Wes Holtsclaw
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

   Hampton Girls Basketball has sent several players to the college ranks in the past few years. This year is no exception, as Hampton standout guard Kelly Shoun signed to continue her career with the Virginia Intermont College Lady Cobras on Thursday morning at Hampton High School.
   After a stellar career at Hampton, where she was named All-District, All-Region, and All-Conference, she is excited about the upcoming challenge in the NAIA and the AAC.
   "I'm excited," said Shoun after her signing Thursday morning, "I never expected that it would happen, but now that I know it has, it's just four more years of hard work. I've played on some really good ball teams here in the past four years, but I expect it to continue on, playing with another good team."
   Shoun is known for being one of the best guards in the area, with impressive perimeter shooting and defensive skills at the high school level.
   However, Shoun is ready for the challenge of the next level, as it brings tougher competition and another aspect to the game of basketball.
   "I'm looking forward to different competition. It's harder competition, but everybody's pretty much on the same level or better. So it's gonna be fun."
   Virginia Intermont coach Heather Conley is excited about Shoun's presence on the team, and is expecting big things from her.
   "She's definitely going to help us ," said Conley, "Her quickness, her speed, just her focus on the court....we're excited. We had a rough season with injuries, and we only graduated one senior, and she was the guard. So we're looking for Kelly to come in and step right in to her shoes."
   With the expectations running high throughout the Virginia Intermont program, nothing can be compared to the feeling of a parent.
   "We've been proud of Kelly all along," said her father Larry Shoun, "She's been a very good child to raise. She's done good here at Hampton, and we're really looking forward to her future at VI. She's really excited about it, and we feel very good about the player she's going to be, and with the coaches.
   "The school is very close to home. It seems to be a very good Christian college, and all the people I've met seem to have accepted her real well. She seems to be very happy and suited in, so I feel very comfortable that she will be happy and suited there."
   After an impressive first year as the head coach, Leslie Campbell is proud of her first college signee.
   "She was a role player," said Campbell, "She didn't get that much recognition, but she did her part on the floor and that's why we were successful, and she was a big part of it. We've talked about this day for seven years, and here it is. I'm glad she's going on, and I think she'll make VI a great player. She's going to make her coach proud of her and I'm glad she chose her."
   In Shoun's first three years at Hampton, Doug Phillips was the coach in charge. He was very proud of her and her accomplishments.
   "She's come a long way," said former Hampton coach Doug Phillips, "In the first two or three years, she never had much interest in going on to college and playing. I'm so happy to see her decide to do that. She's not the tallest, or most talented or anything, but she's a hard worker and what she's got she's done it through work.
   "She's probably one of the best streak shooters we've ever had here at this school. She may make you seven or eight three pointers in a row. You can be beat, and like at Cloudland this year, I believe she made seven in the second half, and I don't know if she hardly missed one.
   "She's a great shooter once she gets her confidence up, and on a roll. And I think she could probably help a lot of people with her shooting. She's worked hard, and she's earned it. She's the kind of kid that never missed practice, worked on her own by lifting weights and running. I'm proud of her."
   Like many schools in the area, Hampton has produced a lot of talent that has went on to play after high school. Coach Leslie Campbell hopes that it continues.
   Said Campbell, "It just builds and hopefully we'll continue to build on that, hopefully the younger kids will realize if that's what they want to do, they're capable of doing it. But Hampton's produced a lot of college players, and if they want to be one, it can be accomplished here."
   Congratulations to Kelly Shoun for this accomplishment.