Bishop Canevin’s Price commits to UMass Lowell

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Thursday, September 20, 2018 | 9:30 PM


When UMass Lowell started recruiting Shamyjha Price, the Bishop Canevin girls basketball standout thought it was too far away. There is nearly 600 miles between Pittsburgh and the school in northern Massachusetts.

But after her official visit, she knew it was home.

Price made her commitment to the River Hawks on Sept. 16. She is the first Crusaders girls basketball player to commit to a Division I program since Erin Waskowiak went to Duquesne in 2013.

“I got to spend some time with the coaches and with the team on my official visit,” said Price, who plans on studying nursing or social work. “On my visit, I saw myself there. I thought I could play for them. They kept up with me and really wanted me to play there. I wasn’t their second choice. That stood out to me.”

The River Hawks compete in the American East Conference. The team is relatively new to the Division I level as many of the UMass Lowell athletic programs moved from Division I to Division II in 2013.

Price has been a major contributor on the court since her freshman season at Bishop Canevin, helping the Crusaders capture three straight WPIAL titles. Last season, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged 14.6 points and helped guide Bishop Canevin to a 24-5 record with a WPIAL Class 3A title and PIAA runner-up finish.

“Her competitiveness is the first thing that stands out,” Bishop Canevin coach Scott Dibble said. “She hates to lose. And that is a great quality to have in a player. She is a great role model for our younger kids. I have talked to her a lot about the program and the team, and she has bought in. She is a team player. She is a great kid on and off the floor.”

While the Crusaders suffered a 63-46 setback to Neumann-Goretti in the PIAA Class 3A title game, the game was a milestone for Price. She scored a game-high 31 points and cracked 1,000 career points in the third quarter.

One of Price’s strengths is her ability to drive to the basket. Price said she has put a focus on expanding her perimeter game.

“My midrange shot has gotten better,” Price said. “As a freshman and sophomore, I didn’t really shoot at all. I remember my dad telling me to work on my midrange shot. Once I started, it was unstoppable.”

Division I basketball runs in Price’s family. Her father, Kevin, won three WPIAL titles at Duquesne High School in the 1990s and is the second-leading scorer in WPIAL history with 2,635 points. He went on to play at Duquesne University.

“He is a very big supporter of me,” Price said. “He is always there guiding me and giving me tips about basketball and what he sees in my games.”

With her college commitment out of the way, Price can now focus on her senior season with the Crusaders. If Bishop Canevin can make it back to the Petersen Events Center and win a fourth straight WPIAL title, it would be a historic accomplishment. Only five teams have won four straight WPIAL girls basketball titles.

Plus, it would one-up her dad.

“My dad won three WPIAL titles,” Price said. “It would be great to pass him and win four.”

Nathan Smith is a freelance writer.

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