Whether it has been on the football field or basketball court, Caesar Rodney’s Dante Shells has been a top-notch athlete this year.
School Caesar Rodney High School
Height 6 feet, 2 inches
Dante Shells might not like the limelight in the high school sports scene, but it certainly likes him.
Coming off a football season at Caesar Rodney High School that saw Shells earn first-team honors on the all-state squad, the Rider senior is now starring on the basketball court.
He’s consistently led his team in scoring and has the CR team eyeing a chance to play deep into the tournament this spring.
Shells spoke to the Dover Post on Dec. 21 about the balance between football and basketball, as well as what he’s expecting this season for the Riders.
Q You’ve had a pretty strong start to the season. Have you performed up to your expectations?
A For the most part, yes. There are some things I need to critique and work on, but that’s just from the transition from football to basketball. But I think now I’m starting to get back into basketball shape.
Q What made that transition between the sports so tough?
A It was hard on my legs, the fact that I’m running on hardwood now and not grass, and that I’m not running routes but just running the floor.
Q What’s it been like being a senior leader on the team this year?
A After we lost last year [in the tournament], the first thing my coach told me was that next year I had to step up to the plate and be the leader that I want to be right now. So I’m looking forward to further stepping up, helping my team and leading them.
Q Did it help to have that experience of being a leader on the football team?
A It did a little bit. A couple of football players play basketball with me too, so they know how my leadership role works. And I feel that my players now, they know they could look up to me and ask me for help on anything they need.
Q What are the goals for this team this year?
A We want to win conferences first. After that, we want to get to the [Bob Carpenter Center] in the state tournament. I’ve been to the Bob but I didn’t actually play because I was a sophomore. This year, I just want to get there and keep succeeding from there.
Q What does this team need to do to achieve those goals?
A Our coach stresses defense every day, every practice, so we have to continue to work on defense extra hard, and the offense will come. We have the ability to put the ball in the bucket at any time. We just have to stand our ground on defense and we should be able to take care of business.
Q Outside of basketball, you made first-team all state this year as a wide receiver. What was it like getting that honor?
A That was great. I can remember the first day of camp I got a text message from somebody that said, “Let’s go, try to make first-team all state.” I kept that text message as motivation. That’s what I really wanted to get this year and I got it so I was proud of myself.
Q Have you thought about the possibility of getting first-team honors in basketball in the same year?
A That’s something I’ve definitely thought about. I know it’s going to be hard because there’s really a lot of talent all over the state. But that just gives me the extra motivation to reach my goal and I think I can get it.
Q So after you senior year, is it going to be football, basketball or both in college?
A It’s just going to be one. It’s going to be too hard if I try to do both. Right now I still don’t know which one I’m going to play. Before the season I thought there was no way I would play football in college, but after that season, I don’t know. I’ll probably make my decision in the next month.
MOVIE “He’s Got Game”
SONG A variety
NBA TEAM Denver Nuggets
NBA PLAYER Carmello Anthony
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WHO Caesar Rodney High School (3-2, 2-1) vs. Easton High School
WHEN 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29
WHERE Wicomico Civic Center, 500 Glen Ave., Salisbury, Md.