Western Nebraska Community College’s Vinnie Shahid’s Division I dream officially became reality Wednesday as the Cougar point guard inked with North Dakota State University.
Shahid, in signing with the Bison, will only be a couple hours from home.
“It is only three hours from home and the coaching staff made me feel like I was home every time I stepped on campus,” Shahid said. “Me and the head and assistant coaches have a great relationship. The teammates are unselfish. We get along well and there are a lot of similar characteristics like I have here at WNCC.”
Shahid has always wanted to play Division I since he was a youngster and he couldn’t be prouder to of fulfilled that dream.
“It definitely is a dream come true,” he said. “As a kid, you always wish to be at the highest level and Division I is the highest level in college sports. Really, it is a dream come true and now hopefully I get to make a run at the NCAA tournament.”
Shahid has elevated his game since coming to WNCC from Hopkins High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Last year he scored 434 points for an average of 15.4 points a game. This season, Shahid is scoring at a torrid pace just two games into the season. Shahid is averaging 24.5 points a game, which is 14th in the NJCAA.
Shahid said that he has worked hard to make this dream come true on and off the court.
“I have grown a ton,” Shahid said. “I can remember Coach Cory calling me in high school and telling me ‘I believe in you and I believe this is a dream we can make come true.’ Only him and I are the two that believed in it and other people didn’t really believe in it. I trusted him and I did the things that he asked me to do as a player and man, and now I am here today.”
Shahid had a bunch of schools looking at him, including Jacksonville State, Robert Morris, Mercer, Missouri State, and the University of San Diego,” he said. “There were some other options I could have chosen, but there is no place I would rather be than North Dakota State.”
North Dakota State is a program that is a basketball power in the Summit League and has made national tournament appearances.
“They average 20-plus wins a year,” he said. “Two years ago, they made a run at the national tournament beating Oklahoma. They are not a bad program at all. They are always at the top of the Summit League or top two teams. They are a really good program.”