Schell is ultimate hard worker
Feb. 12, 2008
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
by Brady Henderson, WWU sports information office
Diving on the floor for a loose ball. Fighting through a screen on defense. Outworking a defender for an offensive rebound.
The little things in basketball might not make the highlight reel, but for Western Washington University junior forward Calin Schell, that's a major part of his game.
"He's going to outwork you," said Viking veteran coach Brad Jackson. "[He does] the little things that are necessary. A lot of that he creates just through sheer determination and hustle. Calin never takes a play off. It's play after play, day after day of just maximum effort."
A fourth-year junior from Chelan, Schell is scoring at a 9.2 points per game clip, starting all 20 games for Western this season. He is averaging 7.5 rebounds and his 54 offensive rebounds rank second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
"Every play is important," said Schell, whose physical, blue collar style of play is complemented by a rare combination of size and athletic ability. "I just try to play as hard as I can and make the little effort plays that make the difference at the end of the game."
"At 6-foot-7, he moves his feet extremely well," Jackson said. "He's a player that can do a lot of different things. He can defend the perimeter. Offensively, he feels comfortable catching the ball away from the basket. He really understands the game."
The 215-pound Schell says that the decision to redshirt as a freshman in 2004 has helped his development both mentally and physically.
"Coming out of high school I was maybe 190 pounds," said Schell, who is now 25 pounds heavier. "I knew that I had to get stronger and faster and more aggressive. Sitting out a year helped me learn a little bit more about what it would take to play at this level."
That maturity has been rewarded by coaches and teammates. Schell was named the team's most improved player as a freshman and received the Chuck Randall Coaches Award that year and as a sophomore. This season, his teammates paid him the ultimate compliment, voting him a team co-captain.
"Other guys know they can count on him and they feed off him." Jackson said. "Calin in many ways sets the tone for our team. He's one of those guys that is relentless. He's going to be that way whether it's practice or a game. That's the key to his ability to do so many of the things he's done."
This season he has posted career highs in points and rebounds, scoring 18 versus Western Oregon and grabbing 15 boards against Central Washington.
Schell was a first-team all-state selection as a high school senior, helping Chelan place fourth at the Class 2A state tournament. An engineering major, he was a GNAC academic all-star last year.
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