GLASGOW — Switching schools is not an easy task for any teenager — especially in their senior year. However, Barren County High School’s Jacob Shaw has made the move from Glasgow Christian Academy with relative ease.
With the first week and a half of the basketball season in the books, Shaw is already the second-leading scorer for the Trojans (1-1) at 12.5 points per game thanks to 45.5% shooting from three-point land.
Shaw had always attended Glasgow Christian Academy for his academic carer where he played basketball. However, the private school was not going to be able to have a basketball team this school year, and Shaw was left with a choice — stay, or finish out his prep career somewhere else.
The choice was actually pretty simple for him and his family.
“Me and my parents felt like it would be good to keep going on and playing,” Shaw said. “I knew a lot of people from Barren (high school), and a lot of people who went to church. All the people were really nice. Nothing really turned me off from any school, it was just an easy choice. The people here are really great.”
No matter where Shaw has played the game, basketball has always been a constant for the Shaw family. All three of his older brothers played the game, and both of his parents played at Metcalfe County.
“I grew up in a family that really loved basketball,’ Shaw said. “I watched them play and I always wanted to play since they did. I grew up just loving the game.”
That love of the game stayed strong with Shaw during his playing days at Glasgow Christian Academy where the Warriors played against some impressive competition. Quite often, Shaw and his teammates would travel long distances to places like Tennessee and West Virginia to compete.
“I wouldn't change it for anything,” Shaw said of his time at Glasgow Christian Academy. “I learned a lot there and it’s a really great place. Of course, it is different here with the size. It wasn’t so much different, but every night you have to come to play and bring it.”
He also insists that the move to Barren County High has been as easy it possibly could have been, and that many people have looked after him and made sure Shaw was adjusted well.
Fast forward to the present and Shaw has given Barren County a huge boost in an area that sorely needed help last season — three-point shooting.
In the 2018-19 season where the Trojans played 30 games, not a single player hit more than 25 three-pointers. In just two games thus far, Shaw has already hit five from behind the arc.
While it is admittedly a small sample size, this isn’t the type of player who is getting lucky. Shaw is shooting the ball consistently with confidence as if he is built to shoot five threes per game. Of course, this is expected for him as Shaw got plenty of shooting practice growing up.
“Me and my dad and my brothers have gotten a lot of shots up while I was growing up,” Shaw said. “Whenever my brothers are in they help me get a lot of shots up as well.”
The practice paid off as he made quite a debut against Green County in the Trojans’ first game of the season. In very limited playing time, Shaw hit three three-pointers including one which came on a spectacular four-point play.
“I thought he was great,” Coach Warren Cunningham said Shaw’s performance that night. “I thought he really loosened it up offensively when he made the threes. I thought he passed one up right before that, and he has to take that because he can make it. It really got us going offensively.”
One reason why Shaw has seamlessly transition into being a positive addition for the Trojans has been the connection he has made with Cunningham so far.
When asked how he enjoyed playing for his new head coach, he answered “It’s great!” without any hesitation or second thoughts.
“He demands a lot of stuff out of you, but its the stuff you know you gotta give if you wanna be good,” Shaw said. “He always says, ‘How bad do you want to be really good?’ It’s always great playing for him.”
The chemistry with his new teammates has also been ideal as they all have the same singular goal: Winning. While he can certainly shoot six or seven threes a game, he doesn’t mind at all deferring to another teammate who is having a great night shooting.
“It’s just whatever it takes to win,” Shaw said. “That’s what our guys want to do.”
As for the rest of the season, the new Trojan is a closed book when it comes to his individual and team goals.
“I feel like we can be really good, and we have a lot of team goals that are kind of personal to the team,” Shaw said with smile. “I can’t say them all out loud, but we know that we have a lot of respect for everyone else out there.”
“For us seniors we really just want to set the tone,” Shaw continued. “There are a lot of good leaders on the team. We want to come out and not only set the bar but raise the bar.”
With the sweet-shooting of Shaw in the fold, Barren County may be able to raise that bar just a little bit higher for years to come.