Caldwell graduate Jason Shaw has qualified to play in the European Exposure Tour for USA Select Basketball, a non-profit organization.
Shaw, 27, played college ball at Ohio University Eastern, where he is still working on his Bachelors degree. Shaw got his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Belmont Tech.
Shaw participated in a camp run by the organization, and was selected out of 110 people to play overseas.
Richard Dionne, VFW Post 4721 commander, right, presents Jason Shaw, center, with a check for $1,000. Danny Shaw VFW Post 4721 quartermaster (and Jason’s dad) is pictured on the left.
On the tour, Shaw will have the opportunity to play games all over Europe, including London, France and Finland. Games will be played in front of European basketball coaches, general managers and scouts, and depending on how Shaw performs, he could get the chance to sign with a professional team.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Shaw said. "I've been playing since I was 6-years-old. I never went to a big school, so to be able to get this opportunity is amazing."
Shaw's father Danny agrees, and couldn't be happier for his son.
"I'm tickled to death for him," Shaw said. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He's a good basketball player. This is kind of a dream come true for him."
Because USA Select is a non-profit organization, players must use their own money for transportation. Shaw said the process of raising money has been "coming along slowly," but did receive a $1,000 check from VFW Post 4721, as well as several smaller donations. Although Shaw is excited for the opportunity, he definitely feels some pressure.
"People want to see something in return," Shaw said of the people who have supported him. "As far as pressure goes, I don't want to let them down. Nothing's guaranteed. But for me, I've always done well under pressure."
That kind of fearless attitude is what has made Shaw a force to be reckoned with on the court. In high school, the former Redskin was a second team All-Ohio selection and first team All-PVC selection as a senior, as well as scoring over 1,000 points.
At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Shaw has a good frame for a shooting guard. He scored over 1,600 points in four years of college, and is very grateful for his time there.
"College was amazing," Shaw said. "Basketball was kind of a gateway for me, but it's not something you can do forever. I help out kids and I always tell them that education is the most important thing. If you don't get good grades, you can't play anyway. But if you focus and do well in both, that can be your gateway."
Players going overseas will play 24 games in 29 days, giving them a great chance to show off their talents and impress the professionals. Should they perform well, they stand a good chance of being offered a professional contract.
"It's beyond words," Shaw said. "I've put so much work into basketball. It's helped me realize how much you have to work to be good at something. This is the culmination of that work. It's a great honor to be selected."