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Shockley displays talent on the basketball court

By Anthony Rhoads

MACON n There's no doubt that North Clayton graduate D.J. Shockley is a talented football player but he recently had the chance to show off his hoops skills in front of some of his Georgia teammates.

After spring practices this year, Shockley and some teammates played three-on-three basketball games. After the contests, Georgia head coach Mark Richt was impressed.

"He is a very special athlete," Richt said at the 2003 Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Pigskin Preview Media Day in Macon. "He made some unbelievable moves and he ?oohed and ahhed' everybody."

Even though Shockley is specializing in football now, he was a multi-sport athlete at North Clayton. He not only stood out as the starting quarterback at North Clayton but also played baseball, basketball and ran track.

In baseball, Shockley played several positions but especially shone as a pitcher.

In basketball, he was a key player on the 2001 North Clayton team that made it to the Class AAAAA Sweet 16.

Now, Shockley is about to embark on his sophomore season at Georgia. Last year as a red-shirt freshman he got considerable playing time backing up David Greene.

Shockley accumulated 415 passing yards, five touchdown passes and while throwing two interceptions in 2002. He also ran for 107 yards and scored two touchdowns.

"I think he was outstanding last year even though he spent part of the season injured," Richt said. "He's going to be on the field even more in 2003 because of his talent and because of last year's experience. He's tremendous."

Southern Crescent players make impact at West Georgia: West Georgia has several players from Clayton and Henry counties on its roster for the 2003 season.

Players from this area who are on West Georgia's roster are Mt. Zion's Jamie Aull (junior center, 6-feet, 330 pounds), Jonesboro's Neal Bell (junior linebacker, 5-11, 235), North Clayton's Corey Braddy (sophomore wide receiver, 5-10, 154), Stockbridge's David Canup (freshman linebacker, 5-10, 195), Stockbridge's Joe Clark (sophomore defensive tackle, 6-3, 262), Mt. Zion's George Wilkerson (senior defensive tackle, 5-9, 283) and Riverdale's Ahmard Wright (sophomore wide receiver, 5-11, 171).

"We've got to recruit from Atlanta and the surrounding area," West Georgia head coach Mike Ledford said. "It's good football and the people have a chance to know us. They can go away for college and still be close to home."