Guthrie’s Charli Shelton: Basketball Spotlight Presented By BancFirst Guthrie

Guthrie High School varsity basketball player Charli Shelton has played the game of basketball since the seventh grade. Somewhat of a late start, Shelton took to the sport and her passion for the game is obvious when you watch her play. “I like my position best because I have to be tough and get big or you won’t get the ball. My position has taught me to be mentally tough and very aggressive. I am blessed to have height on my side. I previously played tennis but for my senior year decided to focus solely on basketball,” said Shelton.

Now in a leadership role, Shelton can identify with her younger teammates who are waiting their turn to take the court. “I understand what it is like to not play and just sit the bench because before coach Roberts came to Guthrie no one worked with me to get better or gave me playing time. I believe that makes me a better leader because I have been at the bottom and had to work for where I am today. With having a younger team a lot more eyes are on me to see how I interact with them on and off the court. I do my best to set good examples and be a good leader,” said Shelton.

While the team may have a youthful appearance, the Lady Jays have come together and have found their identity. “I love that it’s a small group so we really have to be close and work together in everything we do. From conditioning, staying in hotels during tournaments, and grueling extra practices, we always keep each other on our toes,” said Shelton. “You can expect a young team, small in numbers, to play hard every game and surprise a lot of people by improving one game at a time. This is a very important year of growth because next year they will have no seniors.”

In the classroom, Shelton works hard to maintain a 4.0 GPA. She is involved in National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Link Crew, Yearbook and Key Club. And she’s received the Albert Pike Academic Excellence Award for four years. “Academics are very important to me, I pride myself on having all A’s every year of high school, which has contributed to a 4.0GPA. After graduation I hope to have the opportunity to play college basketball and pursue a degree in early elementary education,” said Shelton.

Shelton said her parents have always been there to support her throughout her high school career. “Both of my parents are my biggest supporters. My father is always being the best he can be and never stops working hard. He is constantly encouraging me and pushing me to meet all my goals. He sits on the baseline of the court during every game to take pictures of me. My mother and I act exactly the same causing us to disagree sometimes, but she is my best friends and best listening ear. During basketball games she never stops cheering for us, yelling the entire time and tuned in to every play.”