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Hillcrest's Reed signs with Shelton State


Matt Reed, a senior at Hillcrest High School, recently signed to play basketball at Shelton State Community College. (Photo by Andrew Carroll | Tuscaloosa News)


TUSCALOOSA | Matt Reed doesn’t have to travel far to go to college, but once he gets there he might wind up in Kansas.

Reed, a senior at Hillcrest High School, recently signed to play basketball at Shelton State Community College.

"Choosing Shelton State is meaningful for me because it’s close to my coaches so I can stay with them in case I need guidance or help or whatever," Reed said. "I know they’ll always be there as someone I can talk to. At Shelton State there are a few players I already know, so it’s almost like continuing my education with people I already know.

"What this day means to me is closure to know that I’m furthering my education for free.

"I could have kept playing over the summer and maybe gone somewhere else, but that’s not what I’m worried about. I’m not trying to get famous. I’m trying to get an education paid for. As long as that’s taken care of, which it’s taken care of at Shelton, I’m more than happy."

Reed, a 6-foot-9 center, said he plans to major in political science.

Reed spent two seasons with the Hillcrest varsity, playing for head coach Scott Suttles.

"My strength as a basketball player was just really doing what my coaches needed me to do," Reed said. "Sometimes I felt like I stepped up to be a leader when no one else would."

The Hillcrest campus isn’t far from Shelton State, so Suttles plans to watch Reed develop as a college player.

"It’s really convenient to be able to watch him play," Suttles said. "He’s grown leaps and bounds over the 312 years he’s played basketball, and I think he has tremendous upside. He’s the first player we’ve ever had that was not only our leading rebounder, but he averaged more rebounds than he did points. He took on a leadership role during area play.

"The greatest thing about Matt, though, is he’s so coachable. He’s a wonderful young man, and he’s really going to be a huge asset, not only to Shelton but just to society because he’s such a cerebral young man."

Shelton State won the Alabama Community College Conference title and qualified for the NJCAA Tournament in Kansas. Coach Barry Mohun favors an up-tempo style with the guards running and gunning, but he knows it helps to have an athletic big man.

"I think Matt’s one of those guys that can run the floor real well for his size," Mohun said. "Coach Suttles has done a great job with him. I just think Matt’s the type kid who’s going to work hard on his own and keep developing.

"Obviously, with his size and length he’ll rebound and just change some shots naturally. I just think he’ll keep progressing on the offensive side of it and be able to hurt people, not only with offensive putbacks but inside moves and everything.

"We like to recruit people that come from good programs. I think Coach Suttles has established this as one of the best programs in the state. He knows what it takes to win and what sacrifices you have to make. It makes our job a lot easier."