Sports

JC men’s basketball: BJ Shelton leads by example in helping Fresno City College to NorCal Regionals

Fresno City College guard/forward BJ Shelton always keeps his cool on the court. Teammates have wondered how that can be when calls could go the other way.

“You don’t see a change in his face at all on the court,” Rams sophomore guard Aaron Cameron said. “Same face throughout the whole game. You can’t tell if he’s angry or anything. It’s amazing.”

It has been that way since Shelton, who starred at Bakersfield High before arriving at Fresno City, picked up a basketball.

Shelton, whose birth name is Brandon Shelton Jr., led the Rams to a 25-6 overall record and the Central Valley Conference title at 11-1 as they head into their NorCal Regional matchup as the No. 3 seed against visiting No. 14 San Jose City College at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. He was named the conference’s co-MVP after averaging 15.2 points per game.

“He’s probably one of the most loyal guys I’ve ever met,” Fresno City sophomore guard/forward Mike Crawley said. “He’s consistent with everything. His consistency makes him a great person on and off the court.”

Shelton, who’s listed as 6-foot-4, said he wanted to lead by example after his freshman season when he finished third on the team in scoring with an average of 8.7 points per game.

“I wanted to be that person they can look up to, so they can follow on the court,” he said.

When Shelton has the ball, more often than not he’s attacking the basket, and teammates have taken notice.

“BJ is such a threat on the court – aggressiveness and ability to spark momentum,” Cameron said. “Off the court, great guy and easy to get along with. ... BJ is consistent and sticks to who he is and his role. Never tries to do too much.”

Crawley echoed that: “You know exactly what you’re going to get when the lights come on. He loves to attack the basket.”

Shelton said his game wouldn’t be where it’s at if it weren’t for Ed Madec. The 10-year Rams coach said Shelton is “steady and consistent.”

“He is a special human being with special character,” Madec added.

Shelton said no four-year colleges recruited him out of high school, but Fresno City and College of the Sequoias did and he ultimately chose the Rams because of the program’s continued success and the chance to develop into being a better player.

“My confidence is better and I’ve gotten a little more faster, even more athletic, and I’ve played better defense,” he said. “I play with a better edge, and I learned that by playing for Madec. That’s what he mostly emphasizes as a coach: toughness. He tells me to play with more aggression and eat – and what he means by that is get to the basket.”

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee

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JC MEN’S BASKETBALL: NO. 3 FRESNO CITY VS. NO. 14 SAN JOSE CITY

  • Saturday: 7:30 p.m. at the Rams’ gym
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