Shelton eager for 'new beginning' at Hampton

LOUISA, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- A week ago, Chris Shelton didn't even have a scholarship offer from the Hampton men's basketball program. But on Wednesday morning, the Louisa County High School senior guard was starting his 'Decision Day' by signing with the Pirates.

The offer came last Thursday, following a visit to the school. Shelton, the VHSL Class 4 player of the year this past season, announced his commitment to Hampton on Sunday morning. Thursday's signing capped the whirlwind week.

"It's crazy," Shelton said with a wide smile on Wednesday. "When people say, 'Trust the process,' trust the process. Even though it gets to the final seconds, final days, just trust the process. And not a lot of people are patient, but I stayed patient, and God worked in my favor."

Shelton was one of four Louisa County seniors honored with a signing ceremony at the high school. He was joined by wrestler Mason Morris, who will head to West Virginia Tech; football player Jordan Leslie, who will continue his career at Virginia Union; and Mount Olive-bound field hockey player Victoria Lane.

During the regular season, Shelton averaged 23 points and seven rebounds at Louisa. He led the Lions to the program's first appearance in the state championship game since 1994, plus district and region titles along the way.

On Wednesday, Shelton admitted that as his college recruitment dragged into the late spring -- graduation at Louisa County is next week -- he used it as motivation.

"That's just the process," Shelton said. "But as time went, workouts got harder and harder. I pushed myself even more to get even better, and prove that I can be at this level."

Now he'll play shooting guard for a Hampton team that went 18-17 this past season featuring a roster with seven seniors. The Pirates have reached the NCAA Tournament as recently as 2016, when Hampton lost to UVA in the first round.

"It's a new beginning," Shelton said. "Adjusting to a new team, new coaches, and it's exciting. You enjoy the journey, and they say college is your best years. I'm just ready. See how much better as a person I can get, and as a basketball player."