Former Florida guard Ray Shipman said he’s still not sure if he’ll make it to tonight’s Florida-UCF at the Amway Center.
“I’ve got an assignment to finish and a test (Thursday) to study for,” said Shipman, last season’s SEC men’s basketball scholar athlete of the year. “I’m still debating.”
It didn’t surprise many when Shipman transferred from Florida to UCF last spring. The sophomore guard wasn’t getting as much playing time as he wanted.
What was surprising was that Shipman, Florida’s 2o08 Mr. Basketball, abandoned hoops altogether to join UCF’s football team. Originally pegged as a safety, Shipman has bulked up to 235 pounds and moved from safety to outside linebacker.
“Coach (George O’Leary) told me there were going to be more openings at linebacker next season, so I thought why not,” Shipman said.
Shipman said he talked with new UCF basketball coach Donnie Jones shortly after he was hired, but has no desire to walk-on to the basketball team.
“I’m just focused on football,” Shipman said.
Shipman is working with the practice team this season (due to NCAA transfer rules), but has been excited about UCF’s run to the Conference USA title game. The Knights are favored to beat SMU on Saturday
But Shipman also can’t wait to play in his first college football game next fall.
“I’m really pumped up, probably more pumped up then when I was preparing for my first (college) basketball season,” Shipman said. “I can’t wait for it to happen.”