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Men's Basketball - Thu, May 11, 2017

Click to read more. Story by Maysville Ledger Independent.

AUGUSTA – Jared Shoemaker's future in basketball was in question at this time last year.

On April 26, 2016, the then 17-year-old Augusta junior was in a serious accident on KY-8. The SUV he was riding in flipped three to four times, ejecting Shoemaker and knocking him unconscious. He was rushed to Meadowview Regional Hospital before being taken to University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he spent 17 days in the intensive care unit.

But Shoemaker was going to get back on the court, no matter what it took.

Nearly five months later, on September 19, he was cleared by doctors to play and on Wednesday, Shoemaker signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Kentucky Christian University.

"Honestly, I didn't have a doubt in my mind," said Shoemaker. "I just kept playing each day, even when they told me I shouldn't be out there playing in my neck and back brace. I just kept going and kept growing.

"It's been rough," added Shoemaker. "I've had to put in a lot of work in the weight room and individually."

Augusta basketball coach Brian Kirk has seen that hard work firsthand and believes it's why Shoemaker was able to recover quicker than expected.

"From going to possibly never playing sports again to one year later signing your college letter of intent to continue playing at the next level – it's just been his hard work, his dedication and his commitment to get back. He improves each and every day," said Kirk. "He's got determination that he's going to get better and when you have that type of attitude it pays off."

Shoemaker was the leader for the Panthers this season. The senior averaged 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds – both team bests.

"Jared was the backbone to our team this year. He did just about everything we asked of him, from handling the ball, to defensive, rebounding," said Kirk. "He led our team in just about everything possible this year."

In his junior season, he had a different role, playing with the big three of Connor Maddox, Camryn Snapp and Owens Crawford, who all averaged double-digit scoring. Shoemaker averaged 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds to help the Panthers win the 39th District and make it to the 10th Region final.

Signing with the Knights also means that Shoemaker will be reunited with Crawford, who is coming off of his freshman season.

"It's always a lot better because you know someone personally," said Shoemaker. "It makes it a lot easier."

Having an Augusta alum already playing in Grayson helped in the recruiting process, but the 2016 graduate believes it was the coaches at Kentucky Christian that sold Shoemaker. Even so, the two are looking forward to stepping on the court together again.

"It was mostly Coach [Kyle] Combs and Coach [Grady] Lowe. They already knew about him and I just kind of threw his name out there one day and they watched him and he had a really good year and they were interested," said Crawford. "It kind of worked out.

"Oh, it's going to be fun," added Crawford. "I'm real excited."

The familiarity with the Augusta program was part of the reason Kentucky Christian coach returned to town for the second straight year to sign a Panther.

"We got a real good one up here last year," said Lowe. "Jared came down and he worked out with us. He's the same type of kid. That's the kind of student athlete we're looking for - not going to have to worry about him making grades and all that kind of stuff. He's a good kid and he can play some basketball."

Link to original write-up: http://www.maysville-online.com/sports/shoemaker-signs-with-kentucky-christian/article_c66a3527-5997-521b-99d1-bdd98a1c1f6b.html