When Micah Shrewsberry took the head coaching job at Notre Dame over the summer, he had some work to do. He inherited a total of four scholarship players remaining from the previous season.
One of Shrewsberry's first moves was to bring in a familiar face—his son Braeden.
The graduating senior from State College Area High School was a three-star shooting guard prospect and had already committed to his dad once, when Micah was head coach at Penn State. Due to the coaching change, hew as able to get released from his letter of intent and join his father in South Bend.
"I'm not in the business of handing out free scholarships," Micah said when his son first signed with him at Penn State. "He had to earn it. This wasn't a gift. He had to earn it, and he earned it through his hard work."
In a softer moment, he allowed his fatherly pride to shine through.
"It's actually a pretty cool moment," Micah said. "I've been around it, I've seen it, I've done it. But now to be on the side of watching your own kid do something like this is pretty impressive."
While there are benefits to being a coach's son while developing your basketball IQ and skill level, it wasn't always easy to have a college coach for a dad, and Micah is more than aware of that as he embarks on finally getting to coach his son.
"You miss a lot as a coach, right?," he said. "You're gone a lot, you miss a lot of games, you miss a lot of opportunities to be in the gym, or whatever it may be. So there's a lot of people, he's got a big village of people because we've moved around a bunch. But there's a lot of people that have really helped him become a good player, right, when I'm not around all the time. ... There's a lot of people that have kind of helped, and Braeden's kind of taken it upon himself."
Once practices started, it was clear that Braeden wasn't going to benefit from any nepotism.
"Definitely, there was a moment I remember in summer, Braeden wasn't having a great practice," Kebba Njie recalls. "His dad just goes off on him. He stops the whole practice. At the end of the day, Coach Shrewsberry doesn't treat him like a son. He treats him like a player, and I think Braeden likes that, as well."
So far, the younger Shrewsberry is still waiting for his shooting to round into form, but he's been in the starting lineup and leads the Irish in minutes played.
"I don't know if every day has been great," the coach said. "It's been fun though, right? I talked to a lot of coaches that coached their sons, and those same things came up. They talked about the experience you get to have together, ts he things you get to share with your kid. It's fun coaching him. He's not a throw-in coaches kid. He's a player. It makes it a lot easier that he can play a little bit."
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