Player Spotlight: Shep Garner

Story posted February 25, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by David Arroyo

Shep Garner has had quite the roller coaster season, but the one constant has been when Garner is producing, the Nittany Lions are winning ball games.

The son of Kim and Shepard Garner II, Shepard Garner III was born on Dec. 6, 1994 and was raised in Chester, Pa. While in high school, the sophomore guard played for Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia and in a competitive Philadelphia Catholic League.

In his time at Roman Catholic, Garner found himself competing against some of the best recruits in the state, including squaring off against Neumann Goretti’s Ja’Quan Newton, who eventually found himself attending the University of Miami. The guard was also a three-time All-Catholic and all-state selection, while also being a 1,000-point scorer with an average just below 16 points per game. The Cahillites also captured a District 12-AAAA title and made state playoff runs during Garner’s time.

Coming out of High School, Garner received offers from many schools along the east coast, including the University of Florida and Villanova. Seen as a top-5 point guard in the state of Pennsylvania, Garner chose Penn State and follows D.J. Newbill in a new tradition of hardnose Philadelphia guards.

On the day Penn State coach Pat Chambers brought him in, Chambers forecasted what fans had to look forward to from the play of Garner in the coming years.

“He will bring a winner’s attitude to our program, along with his ability to lead, run a team and knock down shots,” Chambers said.

The opportunity given to Garner the day he stepped on campus had to have been a major reason he decided to come to Happy Valley, with his freshman campaign seeing him start 33 of the 34 games. The lone game he sat out was Senior Night against Ohio State.

With playing time brought productivity. The Chester product averaged just over nine points per game to go along with two rebounds and assists per game. He also was impactful on defense providing one steal per game.

To have a freshman be the second leading scorer on a team gave fans hope that the Penn State basketball program was turning around, and it still has that possibility behind Garner in the coming years.

Garner thus far this season has averaged just under 14 points per game and added three rebounds and assists per game. His greater contribution however has been his defense as Garner against the best of competition this year has effectively shut down some star players. The guard held two of the top guards in the Big Ten in Melo Trimble and Yogi Ferrell to a combined 23 points in the two games against Maryland and Indiana, with both players shooting abysmally from the field.

His toughness on defense and his attitude to do whatever is needed for his team has made Garner one of the best players on this Nittany Lion team.

“Whatever coach needs me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. You (Coach Chambers) want me to play the two, I’ll play the two. He wants me to play the one, I’ll play the one,” said Garner.

With an attitude like that and the production he provides, Garner will be seen as a leader going forward and sets himself up to be remembered in high praise amongst many of the recent Penn State guards.

David Arroyo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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David Arroyo

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

David Arroyo currently serves as one of two General Managers for CommRadio. David is a former arts & entertainment director, social media director and editor for the station. He has produced for multiple Penn State sports while in CommRadio, has done play by play for Penn State sporting events such as football, basketball and volleyball and co-hosted and produced his own talk show. During the fall of 2017, David was an anchor, producer and reporter for the Centre County Report. David most recently interned at WPVI-TV, 6abc in Philadelphia during the summer of 2018. While at 6abc he was a programing intern and helped in the production of their weekly show “FYI Philly.” David has interned at B94.5 (State College) and Center City Film and Video (Philadelphia). Follow him on Twitter (@_arroyodavid) or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).