Class of 2023 standout Shawn Russ Jr is a dynamic two sport athlete in Fort Myers, Florida dominating in both basketball and football. Russ Jr is a rising 8th grader listed at 6’2, 160lbs with the athleticism and skills of an elite play-maker. It doesn’t matter which sport it is, Russ Jr finds a way to score with the ball is in his hands. Russ Jr led his team to a championship in both sports this past season with the Fellowship Lions football team and the Fort Myers Middle School basketball team. 2018 has been just as good to him as Russ Jr was named Defensive MVP in the 7th grade Future Stars Game in addition to the MVP of the LeBron James tournament with his Florida Vipers travel basketball team.
He led the Fellowship Lions football team to the Peace River Conference Championship in Fort Myers this past fall as a starting wide receiver and defensive back. Russ Jr’s dynamic ability created a special offensive package for the Lions called “playmaker”. Whether it’s a direct snap under center or sending him in motion to get open in space, Russ Jr’s speed, vision, and athleticism takes over every time he touches the ball. Russ Jr was named 2017 MVP of the Lions after shining on both offense and defense. “I love the contact of the game”, explained Russ Jr. “I love football,” he added.
While Russ Jr has made a name for himself on the gridiron, many believe his future legacy will be told on the basketball court. Russ Jr led the Fort Myers Middle School team to the 2017-2018 Lee County Championship as the starting point guard. In the final game, Russ Jr scored 25 points with 10 rebounds in the first half alone. His ability to control the flow of the game impresses many at the next level as he’s already drawing comparisons to NBA star Jayson Tatum. Simply put, he’s just smooth on the court. “I see myself as more of a basketball player than a football player”, said Russ Jr. “I love to ball. This is such a good experience for my life. I train, I work out, and I’m always staying in shape”, he added. “I love to give my team the ball. I want to get all my guys involved”, Russ Jr explained.
This past June, Russ Jr played in the Future Stars Game for the 7th grade Florida team as a starting defensive back. Russ Jr took advantage of the big stage by returning an interception over 45 yards for a touchdown against team Georgia. “I saw the quarterback drop back so I read pass right away”, Russ Jr told B2C. “I got in front of the ball and took it to the house”, he added.
Russ Jr is currently playing basketball this summer with his travel team the Florida Vipers. In the most recent Lebron James tournament this past spring, Russ Jr put on a show and was named overall MVP of the event. “Everything I learned is from my uncle Jarques Riggins”, Russ Jr added. “Without him helping me get to this point, we wouldn’t be doing this interview”, he added.
Russ Jr will play football as an 8th grader for the Dunbar Stingrays this fall. After the travel season ends with the Florida Vipers, he’ll return to Fort Myers Middle School in hopes of winning another Lee County Championship.