6,535 days. That’s the number of days between the 1997 NBA Draft and the 2015 Providence College Commencement ceremony. Nearly 18 years between two very significant events in the life of God Shammgod. A lot happened on the court during those 6,535 days. 20 games in the NBA with the Washington Wizards who drafted him in the second round of the 1997 NBA draft. 13 years playing in leagues across the USA and the world, including stops in Poland, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Croatia and China. China was the last place he played and it was a knee injury suffered in his final season there that may have been the catalyst to him returning to Providence College and taking up his studies again on the Smith Hill campus.
May 17, 2015. That’s the day that it becomes official. God Shammgod. College graduate. Shammgod will receive his Bachelor’s degree in Leadership Development during Providence College’s 97th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. His plans for after graduation? He will have some choices. Sources indicate that Shammgod has some offers at other schools for coaching staff positions as well as interest from NBA players that want the dribbling-maven to train them. Ed Cooley has said he wants to keep Shammgod at Providence but the Friars would either have to create a position for him in a player development role or hope that Shammgod wants to pursue a graduate degree at Providence. Keeping Shammgod at Providence would be something that is sure to make Kris Dunn and the rest of the Friar guards very happy. Shammgod worked closely with Bryce Cotton during Cotton’s time at Providence. Cotton credits Shammgod with helping helping him “not just with basketball, but…with my outlook on life.”
“It’s crazy, but when I think about college I don’t think about basketball. Though I was always pretty good at it and I thought that I went to school just to play sports, when I got out I realized that I had actually enjoyed school itself. The loneliest time in my life was when I left Providence and was living alone in hotels, going around to work out for teams.”
That’s a quote from a 2009 article in Slam Magazine written while Shammgod was still playing in China. Someone with so much experience, both in life and basketball, has all the makings of an excellent coach someday. For now, Shammgod is weighing his options but he can now say he is officially a college graduate.
God Shammgod. Alumnus from Providence College.
That has a nice ring to it.
Follow me on Twitter @pcbb1917