Q&A with Shavar Reynolds

Shavar Reynolds may be best known as a Seton Hall walk-on, but there is much more to the freshman guard than what he can do on a basketball court. A family man, he is motivated by more than watching game footage.  Here is the best from our Q&A:

Why Seton Hall? “This is the highest level I could’ve went.  I always wanted to go high ever since I was younger.  My coach set me up with a workout and that put me where I am now.  This team, the environment, and the fans are what makes this something special.”

Take me through going from high school star to limited minutes. “Very, very humbling.  I’m happy for the experience because I learned patience in the highest sense.  Life is about patience.  Not everything will come to you when you want it too.  You have to wait for your time and when it does come, you have to be ready; seize the opportunity.”

Was D1 always the dream? “Yeah, that was the big dream the whole time.  That is exactly why I’m here.  It got to the point where I never thought I would make it; I just could not get the exposure.  I was considering settling, which I never thought I would.  Then, my prep school coach was able to schedule me a tryout and I was blessed to make it.”

Seton Hall Pirates guard Shavar Reynolds (21) drives. (Photo via Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Tell me about that tryout. “It was insane.  My coach told me on a Thursday and I had just finished an AAU game.  As he told me, I finally felt like I had a shot to make it.  The day comes, I met my coach, and we make our way to the gym.  We walk in and I was blown away.  It was a D1 gym and that’s all I had been dreaming about since I was little.  The workout began, and I just had one of the better practices of my life; I was hitting shots and felt good about the impression I made on the coaches.  By the end, Coach Willard came up to me and told me that I had made the team.  Right there, I was just smiling and got to go home and tell my mom.  That day was just crazy; still makes me feel blessed to be here.”

What has this team taught you so far? “This is a very good team and group of guys.  If you want to talk about a team, these are the group of guys you would use to describe it.  We’re all very close, definitely like a family.  The experience of the older guys, especially the seniors, goes a long way; they know what they’re talking about and are always able to keep their composure.  I’ve never seen a real-game situation where they’ve gotten rattled.  As a younger player, you’ll see a 10-0 run and it might impact your demeanor or intensity.  To these guys, it’s just another part of the game and they can chip away to win games.  I’ve learned so much already from this team.”

How much have you grown as a player? “Oh, a lot.  The levels from high school, to D3 open gyms, to now; it’s a whole different game.  When I first got here, I could not finish at the rim.  Everyone was just too big; you’ve got Angel and the other guys who tower over some of us.  My mindset was to pull up or hit a floater.  But, as time went on I got way better.  You understand different angles and just see a different style of play.  Sometimes you’re going to get hit in the face; it’s just how you take it that counts.  The workouts are extremely similar to what I’ve done in my life before college, but it’s just so much more intense and fine-tuned.  Everyone is good, everyone is athletic.  It’s just another level of basketball.”

Where does your motivation come from? “It’s my whole family; that’s all I have.  I’ve moved around my entire life, but they were the one thing that was always stable.  Everything I do is for them.  If I’m ever blessed enough to make it, my mom isn’t working, my dad’s done, and my sisters are set.  Also, my grandparents drive me; my Grandpa and my Grandma, who passed away.  It’s up to God and there’s always a reason for His plan.  I’m always doing everything I do, for them.”

Members of Shavar Reynolds’ family, including his dad (Photo via: Seton Hall Athletics)

Tell me about your Dad. “Man, that’s my best friend.  I just got to talk to him the other day, but with the time difference it can be hard.  He’s in Romania but I’ll talk to him as much as I can.  I am who I am because of him.  It makes me think about the person I would be if my Dad didn’t instill the values that he did in me.  The person that you and everyone sees on the court, that’s all him.  Being a good person, having a strong work ethic, and just working to get better everyday are all things I learned from him.”

Have you thought about life after basketball? “I would love to be able to do something around coaching.  I can also see myself working in the physical therapy and athletic training field.  For me, I just want to do something that can help and impact people.  I think the reason we live is to influence people and impact someone’s life.  Being able to do that through my passion of sports would be ideal.”

Do you see yourself becoming a leader on this team? “Oh, I hope so.  I’ve worked so hard this season and I’ll only work harder as time goes on.  If I get the shot to make an impact on this team, you’ll remember my name.  I’m glad I got to sit behind the guys who are on this team because they’ve taught me so much.  I know how to be a leader, how to keep my composure, and especially how to put the work in.”