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York coach Vince Doran first noticed Shockey’s intensity level when he was in eighth grade.
Besides his physical talents on the hardwood, Doran said Shockey possessed a knack to attract a different form of attention.
“He was a pain in the rear end as an eighth grader,” Doran said, laughing. “I remember our high school kids said they wanted to strangle that kid to me. We had 300 kids in camp, but Nate definitely stood out. He was kind of a jerk, mainly because he couldn’t control his emotions. He was definitely on the cocky side, so to watch him mature and become the leader he is today, over last four years, it’s really rewarding for me to watch.”
Shockey, the 2019-20 Suburban Life Boys Basketball Player of the Year, admitted his single-mindedness focus on winning sometimes got the better of him when he was younger.
“I have always taken basketball very seriously, and I didn’t like to lose and still don’t," he said.
“Obviously, my competitiveness wasn’t controlled at that age. It’s funny to look back at it now having worked that same camp and seeing the kids compete just how I did back then.”
The last few years, the 6-foot-2 Shockey’s next-level talent and his competitive drive have forged together to go along with an added maturity to make him one of the top players in the talent-rich state. After the Dukes lost four starters from last season’s program-best 29-win team, Shockey averaged 21 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists this season.
Led by Shockey, the Dukes (28-5) finished one win shy of equaling last season’s historic record despite their star player missing the final five regular season games. In total, Shockey and the seniors posted a 28-2 record at home in the last two seasons.