I’m regrettably late to link up my latest story for SLAM, but today so happens to be great timing.
Landry Shamet, 21-year-old Sixers sharpshooting rookie, drained 8 treys (on just 14 attempts) in Philly’s 132-115 win over the Wizards on Tuesday. To give this some perspective, in just over 23 minutes of court time, Shamet doubled his previous career-high of 4 three-pointers. He also connected on 5-5 free-throws for a career-high 29 points. The man was en fuego last night.
He’s been one of the League’s most efficient shooters this season, filling a huge need in Philly’s rotation. When Shamet’s hot, the Sixers have been close to unbeatable. In games where he’s hit 3 or more three-pointers this season, Philly is 9-1. Long-term, there’s no question in my mind that the No. 26 overall pick will be considered a top-15 player in the 2018 Draft if he continues on this trajectory.
For a reporter, Shamet is the perfect interview. Last November, he spoke to me in detail about growing up in Kansas City, MO, with a single, working mother. How they lost their apartment after filing for bankruptcy during the recession. How he had to become self-sufficient at a young age.
In high school, he was overlooked as a prospect, but continued to focus on making the right plays, not necessarily the highlight plays. He still carries that attitude of being disrespected and overlooked to this day.
Here’s an except of the story, which ran on SLAMonline.com on December 18:
By age 8, Landry Shamet had learned how to take care of himself. The only child of a single mother, Shamet would often be home alone while his mother, Melanie, worked long, odd hours. By the second grade, he carried his own key around his neck to school, locking his apartment’s door behind him.
Despite Melanie’s best efforts, she couldn’t always make ends meet. They filed for bankruptcy during the recession of 2008 and were forced to move in with his grandparents.
As she worked to get them back on their feet, Melanie would often come home after back-breaking shifts, sometimes late in to the night.
“I understand what she sacrificed for me and how hard she worked first-hand,” he says. “Her literally breaking her back making beds, coming home, not being able to stand up because she’s been bending over making beds all day.”
Melanie’s sacrifice provided motivation as Landry’s hoop dreams began to manifest on the court. Shamet promised her that he would make it to the League one day so they could live a comfortable life.