By Travis Morgan
Sioux City, IA - Briar Cliff University men's basketball coach Nic Nelson has announced that Sioux City Bishop Heelan standout Shane Graves has signed a letter of intent to join the Cliff's hoop program next fall.
"We are really excited about Shane's decision to come to Briar Cliff," said Nelson. "He is a flat-out winner who comes from an outstanding high school program at Heelan. Shane is a point guard with great command and moxie in addition to his talent. Plus, he's a really good student and an even better person. He's going to have a great career here at Briar Cliff, and he'll be a big addition to the program."
The 5-11 Graves was a four-time basketball letterwinner and three-year starter for the Crusaders of Bishop Heelan High School in Sioux City. The point guard is averaging 18.3 ppg, 4.7 apg and 3.4 spg this season as he has led the Crusaders to a record of 7-3 and a No. 5 ranking in Class 3A. As a junior, he averaged 19.2 ppg, 4.7 apg and 2.9 spg as he earned first team all-Missouri River Conference and first team Iowa Newspaper Association All-State honors. As a sophomore, he was a third team all-state choice. During his time at Heelan, he has helped the Crusaders to two state championships as well as a third place finish a year ago. Over the past three years, they are 17-1 in postseason play. During summers, he has played AAU ball for the Iowa Barnstormers and Martin Brothers.
Basketball is in Graves' DNA. His father, Mike, was a standout at the University of South Dakota and is fifth on the school's all-time scoring chart with 1,746 points. The son of Mike (Graves) and Heather Finkey plans to major in business at Briar Cliff.