Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Andy Shaw walked on to the OSU basketball team from 2006-2008. After suffering from an ongoing shoulder injury, he was forced to give up his spot on the team. Most athletes would have walked away, but Shaw wanted to stay involved.
"My experience walking on the basketball team is something that I will never forget," Shaw said. "I learned a lot about the game from all the great coaches and players I was able to play for and play with, and the experience was something I will cherish forever."
Shaw played at Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla. as a member of the 2005 state championship team and in 2006 was named the Jim Thorpe All-Star Contest MVP. Although his experiences in high school basketball were exciting, it was a whole new world when he entered collegiate basketball.
"Playing at the college level is totally different from playing in high school," Shaw said. "The speed of the game is so much faster in college, and every player on the court is a threat in one way or another. Also, there is more detail involved in the college game, and it takes time to learn all the details in order to be successful both on and off the court."
Shaw walked onto the OSU basketball team his freshman year and quickly learned the responsibilities that came along with it.
"My role as a walk-on for OSU was to do everything possible to make my team better," Shaw said. "I never expected to play significant minutes, but I still had to show up on time, or early, to all practices, workouts and meetings. I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to walk-on here, and I have learned many valuable life lessons from my experience here at Oklahoma State."
While many people perceive walk-ons as getting treated differently from the scholarship players, Shaw says that he was held to the same standard as everyone else on the team.
"I was never treated differently because I was a walk-on," he said. "The coaching staff and players held me just as accountable as they did all of the scholarship players. The basketball program here is one big family, so I felt like my hard work and dedication to the team was appreciated just as much as everyone else involved with the team."
After Shaw went through two different shoulder surgeries, he stopped playing on the team and became a student assistant. Shaw took on a lot of responsibility as a student assistant and learned a lot about being a coach.
"As a student assistant there are many duties that I am responsible for or that I help out with," he said. "During practice there are a few drills that I help conduct, and sometimes play defense against our players in certain drills. During our games I sit behind the bench where I am responsible for keeping statistics for our coaching staff. This past season I kept our defensive stats for Coach Pierre."
Shaw, who is pursuing a degree in Health Promotion, also helps in the weight room during training.
"I actually did my internship for my Health Promotion degree with our strength and conditioning Coach Jake Manzelmann," Shaw said. "So I spent a full semester helping him with workouts. Now I help him out when I have time between classes and other team workouts."
Shaw has been surrounded by coaching his entire life. His father, Bill Shaw, is currently a coach for the UCO women's basketball program in Edmond, Okla.
"Coaching basketball has been my dream job ever since I was a little kid and I would love to follow in my dad's footsteps as a basketball coach," Shaw said. "I have been blessed to be around some very successful coaches such as my father, my high school coach, Coach Ford and his entire staff and will take what I have learned from each of them to help me become successful one day."
Shaw has been learning much from his experiences at OSU and hopes to learn more from head coach Travis Ford every day.
"One key aspect that I have noticed from my coaches is to be there for your players," Shaw said. "Coach Ford and the whole staff here do everything in their power to help our players succeed on the basketball court, but more importantly they help you to become a better person."
After graduating from OSU, Shaw plans to become an assistant coach in the collegiate level somewhere and to further his knowledge and love of the game.
"My goal professionally is to become the best possible coach I can and to have fun teaching the game that I love," Shaw said. "My life has always revolved around basketball and I look forward to coaching in the years to come."