Friday was a big day for Clemson basketball players Shelton Mitchell and Marcquise Reed, and it has nothing to do with basketball.
The two graduated from Clemson University as 3,525 students received their diplomas during commencement ceremonies Thursday and Friday.
“It feels really good,” Mitchell said after graduation to The Clemson Insider. “It feels weird not having to go to school anymore.”
Former basketball players Donte Grantham and Terrence Oglesby also received their degrees on Friday.
Mitchell and Reed both got their degrees in Sports Communications. Mitchell says when his basketball career is over he hopes to pursue a career in broadcasting, while Reed wants to get into marketing and one day own his own shoe company for men.
“I have been into shoes since I was in high school,” Reed said. “Owning my own shoe company is something I have always been interested in and wanted to do.”
The two Tigers, who helped guide Clemson to its first Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1997, still have plenty of basketball left to play before they get to their post-playing careers. On April 2, they both declared themselves eligible for the NBA Draft, but they did not sign agents.
With school and graduation out of the way, the two can finally focus on what’s next. They both said they are in the process of scheduling workouts with NBA teams, but nothing has been finalized as of Friday.
“I’m just finally getting a chance to go through the process,” Mitchell said. “I have been so busy with school and graduation, so I have not been able to set up any workouts. With (graduation) now gone, I can focus on just basketball and see what is right for me.”
Mitchell and Reed are both hoping the process will give them an idea of what they need to do in order to compete in the NBA should they decide to forgo their senior years and sign with an agent.
“I just need to go through it and see what it is all about,” Reed said. “I want to see what the speed is like and if I have what it takes to translate my game to the NBA.”
Mitchell and Reed have to let the NBA know of their intentions by June 11 if they want to pursue a career in the NBA or return to school.
“I’m talking with a couple of teams now,” Mitchell said. “With school now being over, I can devote some real time to the process and see where I go from here.”
Reed led the Tigers at 15.8 points per game. He also averaged 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, while helping Clemson to a 25-10 record and a tie for third place in the ACC Standings. He also shot 43 percent from the field and 84.5 percent from the foul line.
Mitchell averaged 12.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 2017-’18, to go along with 3.7 assists per night. He led the team in free throw shooting at 85.7 percent as well, while also shooting 40 percent last year from the field.