FRANKFORT – Lincoln-Way East senior guard Sam Shafer, one of the top returning basketball players in the Joliet area, announced Thursday via Twitter that he has committed to NCAA Division I Southern Illinois.
The 6-foot-6 Shafer was an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association 3A/4A honorable mention all-stater, All-SouthWest Suburban Blue and a second-team choice on the Herald-News All-Area Team, narrowly missing first-team selection. He helped the Griffins to their first regional championship and averaged 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks.
A story on the Salukis' web site said SIU was the first to offer Shafer. Montana State and Tennessee-Martin also offered and Indiana State and Drake had shown interest, Shafer said.
"I was just evaluating my options and I thought this was going to be the best for me," Shafer was quoted. "I talked to my parents, my friends, and determined what was going to be best. I always wanted to go to a place that always wanted me, not settled for me. That meant something for me."
East coach Rich Kolimas said of Shafer following the conclusion of last season: "Sam was our most potent offensive weapon. He scored 19 points in our first-ever varsity win over Homewood-Flossmoor. He scored 30 to bring down the area's No. 1 team, Bolingbrook, giving them their first loss."