Shawn James (born September 10, 1983) is a Guyanese-American former professional basketball player who last played for Cariduros de Fajardo of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN). Standing at 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m), he played at the power forward and center positions. In 2010–11, he was the top rebounder in the Israel Basketball Premier League. In 2013 he was the Israeli Basketball Premier League Defensive Player of the Year, and named to the All-EuroLeague Second Team.

Shawn James
Shawn James.jpg
James with Maccabi Tel Aviv in October 2011.
Personal information
Born (1983-09-10) September 10, 1983 (age 38)
Berbice, Guyana
NationalityGuyanese / American
Listed height6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight234 lb (106 kg)
Career information
High schoolNotre Dame Prep
(Fitchburg, Massachusetts)
NBA draft2008 / Undrafted
Playing career2008–2018
PositionPower forward / Center
Career history
2008–2011Bnei Hasharon
2011–2014Maccabi Tel Aviv
2014–2015Olimpia Milano
2015Bilbao Basket
2015–2016Olympiacos Piraeus
2016Eskişehir Basket
2016Budućnost Podgorica
2017Cariduros de Fajardo
2018Boulazac Basket Dordogne
Career highlights and awards

College careerEdit

After playing in Brooklyn's Redirection High School, he transferred to Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts to develop his game under coach Bill Barton, who would become his assistant coach later in college.

After a decent season, only two Division I schools believed in his potential, hometown's St. Francis and Boston's Northeastern University, he chose the latter.[1] This proved to be a wise pick for the Huskies, James' 136 blocks in 2004-2005 broke the school's season record, also ranking him second in the nation. His scoring, field goal accuracy and rebounding allowed him to record two triple doubles on the way to America East Rookie and Defensive Player of the Year awards.

The next season he did even better, breaking the NCAA record for blocks per game in a season with 6.53, he had more blocks than 316 of 326 Division I teams, also averaging 12.4 points and 7.9 rebounds (with two more triple doubles) he was again Defensive Player of the Year, this time in the Colonial Athletic Association.

When coach Ron Everhart moved to Duquesne for the next season, James followed him there, under NCAA transfer rules he had to sit out the 2007 season, which he would have had to do in all cases as he was injured following the shooting (see above).

He came back the following season having seemingly shrugged off his injury, breaking the school record for blocks in a season with 111 (for perspective he beat Derrick Alston's previous record of 60) and led the team in scoring and rebounding as part of the Duke's first winning season in 14 years, earning a spot on the Atlantic 10 Defensive Team. At the end of the season he declared himself for early entry in the 2008 NBA draft and later signed with an agent, forfeiting his senior year at a university[2] that he left under acrimonious circumstances after his lawsuit and accusations towards Everhart (see above).

He finished his college career with 443 blocks that put him 9th in the all time ranking for blocks, his five triple doubles were one short of tying the NCCA record.

Duquesne shootingsEdit

On 17 September 2006, James and four other Duquesne teammates Sam Ashaolu, Stuart Baldonado, Aaron Jackson and Kojo Mensah were the victims of an unprovoked shooting on the university's Pittsburgh campus. Ashaolu was shot in the head and neck, Mensah in the shoulder and arm, Baldonado through his back into his elbow, James in his left foot whilst Jackson was only grazed on the wrist by a bullet.[3]

The shooter William B. Holmes II pleaded guilty to the shootings and was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison whilst the other gunman, Derek Lee, was sentenced to up to 14 years in prison, former university student Brittany Jones was sentenced to two years of probation for helping her armed friends enter the student dance where the shootings took place. The altercation started after a woman who came to the party with them flirted with one of the players.

James later sued Duquesne University in June 2008, alleging that they failed to provide adequate security on campus and that coach Everhart had made him play injured, all of which restricted his professional career opportunities. The lawsuit, as the similar ones lodged by Ashaolu, Baldonado and Mensah, was dismissed by a federal judge.[4][5]

Professional careerEdit

2008–11: Bnei HasharonEdit

After going undrafted in the 2008 NBA draft,[6] on 9 June 2008, he signed his first professional contract, a two-year deal with Israeli League side Bnei Hasharon.[7]

Having started the season injured, he slowly started to adapt to the European game and despite limited playing time he led the league in blocks in a team that was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.[8]

After repeating the feat the next season, and improving his stats in all areas to have the third-best valuation in the league, he signed a one-year extension to his contract. The next season, he exploded into the spotlight, again dominating the league for blocks but also for rebounds, which, coupled with good shooting accuracy and solid scoring, made him the best valued player in the league, although not being named MVP. In 2010–11, he was the top rebounder in the Israel Basketball Premier League.

2011–14: Maccabi Tel AvivEdit

In May 2011, he signed a two-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv, moving from the club that never passed the first match up in the playoffs to league champion and European powerhouse. The contract was reportedly worth $350,000 per season.[9]

His first season with Maccabi allowed him to play against Europe's best in the EuroLeague where they reached the quarter finals. On a team level it was a good season, winning the Adriatic League, his first trophy, the Israeli League and the Israeli Cup. On a personal level his playing time diminished as did his stats, although he still managed to top the league in blocks.

He had yet another good 2012–13 season, once again he led the Israeli league in blocks which led to being named the Israeli Basketball Premier League Defensive Player of the Year. He was also part of the All-BSL 1st team, even whilst Maccabi lost their title for the first time in 3 years. However, it was in the EuroLeague that he would shine, starting in the majority of his team's games, leading the completion in blocks per game, second in rebounding and fourth in PIR on the way to an All-EuroLeague Second Team selection.[10]

Signing a new four-year deal, fan favorite James was even appointed captain, the first non-Israeli captain in the history of the club.[11] In a cruel twist of fate, he got injured halfway through the next season, the ruptured disk in his back requiring surgery and ending his season,[12] he had to watch from the sidelines as Maccabi won the European title for the first time in nearly 10 years.

With the departure of coach David Blatt to the NBA and in all probability because of his injury history, he was released by the club on 28 July 2014, ending a fruitful three-year collaboration.[13]

2014–15: Olimpia MilanoEdit

A few days later, on 31 July 2014, he signed a two-year deal with rival EuroLeague team EA7 Emporio Armani Milano of the Italian Serie A.[14] Throughout the season he struggled to regain his past form, seeing limited playing time and generally coming short of the expectations from team and fans: in August he reached an agreement with EA7 Emporio Armani Milano for the early termination of his contract.[15]


In August 2015, he signed a one-year deal with Bilbao Basket.[16] On December 4, 2015, he parted ways with Bilbao Basket.[17] Two days later Olympiacos Piraeus signed James, paying his release fee.[18] His contract was terminated by mutual consent on January 23, 2016.[19] On February 27, 2016, he signed with Eskişehir Basket in Turkish TBL (second division) for the rest of the season.[20]

On September 3, 2016, James signed with Montenegrin club Budućnost Podgorica for the 2016–17 season.[21] On December 28, 2016, he parted ways with Budućnost.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

The son of Gordon and Marva James, he has seven siblings. Three of his brothers played basketball professionally or at college level. The youngest brother Delroy James played with Serie A club Enel Brindisi, older brother Gordon has played professionally in Japan and Latin America, whilst younger brother Lex played for St. Francis without going pro.[23] He has another brother Devaun and three sisters, Teceeta, Enola, and Minette Graves.

Shawn moved with his parents and most of his siblings to Brooklyn, New York in 1990 from his native Guyana, there he discovered basketball, having mostly dallied with cricket before, he only started seriously playing the game at 17 after a growth spurt. He is married to former Northeastern player Melissa Kowalski who he met at the university, they have two children, twin sons Brooklyn and Brayden.[13]

Career statisticsEdit

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high


2011–12 Maccabi 14 1 8.4 .448 .000 .667 2.4 .2 .3 .9 2.6 2.9
2012–13 Maccabi 27 22 24.2 .627 .000 .740 6.5 1.0 .9 1.9 11.5 16.6
2013–14 Maccabi 10 5 17.5 .683 1.000 .611 3.3 1.3 .7 1.5 9.8 12.2
2014–15 Milano 18 2 12.8 .532 .000 .440 3.2 .4 .4 .9 3.4 4.4
2015–16 Olympiacos 5 0 6.2 .500 .000 1.000 1.6 .0 .0 .0 3.4 2.0
Career 74 30 ? .614 .125 .664 4.1 .7 .6 1.3 7.1 ?

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Axelrod, Phil (18 January 2008). "Dukes' James on record-setting trail". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Center set to enter NBA draft after hiring agent."ESPN, Pittsburgh, 8 May 2008. Retrieved on 18 March 2015.
  3. ^ Katz, Andy "James: Woman, boyfriend argued before shootings."ESPN, 21 September 2006. Retrieved on 18 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Ex-Duquesne players shot at 2006 dance sue university". 23 June 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Judge tosses lawsuits by Duquesne basketball players who were shot on campus". 1 April 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  6. ^ Katz, Andy (30 June 2008). "Disappointing night for many early entrants". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Shawn James Profile". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Israel Basketball - Statistics Leaders 2008–09 season". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Basketball / American center inks deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv". 31 May 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  10. ^ "2012-13 All-Euroleague First and Second Teams announced". 6 May 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  11. ^ Sinai, Allon (16 October 2013). "Mac TA's roster highlights concern surrounding local hoops development". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Surgery recommended for Maccabi's James". 27 January 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Shawn James will not Continue with Maccabi."Maccabi Tel Aviv, 28 July 2014. Retrieved on 18 March 2015.
  14. ^ "The Intimidator is coming: Shawn James". 31 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Shawn James parts ways with Olimpia Milano".
  16. ^ "Shawn James, poderío interior para el Dominion Bilbao Basket". (in Spanish). August 17, 2015.
  17. ^ "Shawn James no seguirá en el Dominion Bilbao Basket". (in Spanish). December 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Olympiacos adds former All-Euroleague center and champ James". December 6, 2015.
  19. ^ "Τέλος ο Σον Τζέιμς από τον Ολυμπιακό" (in Greek). 23 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Shawn James inks with Eskisehir Basket".
  21. ^ "Shawn James signs with Buducnost VOLI".
  22. ^ "Buducnost, Shawn James part ways".
  23. ^ "Gordon James y su banda de hermanos". 6 April 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2015.

External linksEdit