GAC move-in Cranshaw already makes splash

Shannon Cranshaw hasn't yet played a game for Greater Atlanta Christian's girls basketball team, or even played a high school game in the state of Georgia.

But it hasn't taken her long to make an impact on the state, and Gwinnett County, hoops scene.

A recent transfer to GAC after her family moved here from Florida, the 5-foot-9 guard spent the summer getting to know her new Spartans teammates by playing summer ball with them, as well as attending various basketball camps.

One of those was the University of Georgia's camp, where she caught the eye of Bulldogs coach Andy Landers enough for him to offer her a scholarship, even though she is only a sophomore.

After much thought, Cranshaw gave her verbal commitment over the weekend to join the Bulldogs after her high school career is over.

"She went to Georgia's elite camp over the summer, and Andy Landers offered her a scholarship," GAC coach Cal Boyd said of Cranshaw. "She spent the last six weeks trying to decide what she wanted to do. She really wanted to meet (Landers) face-to-face first."

Cranshaw, who averaged 19 points per game, led her team in steals and connected on 57 shots from 3-point range as a freshman at Father Lopez High School in Ormond Beach, Fla., isn't the first Gwinnett County girls player to make such an early commitment to an SEC powerhouse program.

Buford junior Andraya Carter made a similar commitment to Tennessee shortly after completing her sophomore season last spring.

Cranshaw and Carter will square off at least twice in the upcoming season, with their two respective teams representing two of the top teams in Region 6-AA, as well as the two of Georgia's top Class AA teams.

And with the Spartans also welcoming back several strong returning players like guard Sierra Lawrence, post Kristina Nelson and forward Peyton Whitted, Cranshaw, named the Volusia County Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel last season, figures to fit right in for a GAC team looking for a new backcourt leader after the graduation of all-county guard Chaney Means last season.

"Shannon's a different kind of player from Chaney," Boyd said. "But she could step in nicely to a leadership role. ... Even as young as she is, she's got a good understanding of the game."