Meet Shembari Phillips, a senior guard from Atlanta who is set to graduate in May with a degree in history, technology and society. A member of the Tech program for three years, Phillips attended Wheeler High School in Atlanta and spent his first two years of college at Tennessee before returning home to play for the Yellow Jackets. After sitting out a year as a transfer, Phillips played 34 games over two seasons, starting seven. He enjoys swimming, bicycle riding and music.
What has been your favorite thing about being at Georgia Tech?
“The atmosphere that has been set in place to push you to be better in every aspect of your life, on and off the court. You have to be locked in, and if you are not it will be amplified that you are not. It has pushed me to become a better person.”
What made you first fall in love with the game?
“I used to play football for a long time, one day I told my mom to sign me up for basketball and eased my way into it. I fell in love with it. During my ninth grade year, I started to really have a passion for it.”
Did the game come easy to you from the start?
“Yes, in middle school I was one of the tallest people on my team. I played center at that point, but my height kind of leveled out at around 6-3.”
What are your hobbies off the court?
“I like to DJ; I have my own turn tables. I mix and mess around with that. The production and sound engineering side of things really interests me. I am also a car enthusiast. I love cars. I go to car meets pretty often.”
What players did you grow up watching/modeling your game after?
“I have always been a big LeBron fan. Tracey McGrady is also one of my favorite players of all-time. As far as modeling my game, I do not have anyone I modeled it specifically after, and I just took bits and pieces from the greats.”
What is the history of sports in your family? Played? Coached?
“Neither of my parents went to college for sports, but my mom was a big time swimmer back when she was coming up in Florida. I think my uncle played some football, but not at the collegiate level.”
Who is your favorite athlete outside of basketball?
“Tom Brady. He is the best quarterback of all-time in my opinion.”
What are your personal goals for the year?
“To graduate, with this being my last semester I want to finish strong and hopefully our post season ban gets lifted, so I we can show the conference what we can do.”
What is something people might not know about you?
“Probably that I DJ. Not many people know about that. I do not glorify or post anything about that yet. I have been told I am decent, but I am pretty raw right now.”
If you could meet any one person, living or dead, who would it be?
“Kobe Bryant. The person he was in and outside of basketball. He had so much brains and passion. He was able to guide people and have an impact on anyone he came across.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Do not give up. Even when you hit a wall, you have to find a way to make it over. I think that is something I pride myself on. We all hit walls in our lives, but you have to keep moving.”
What is your favorite sports movie?
“It is a toss-up between “More Than a Game” and the “Jesus Shuttlesworth” movie. I like “Remember the Titans” as well.”
What is your favorite cartoon character?
“Jimmy Neutron, that is my guy right there.”
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
“My old buddy Curtis Haywood. He transferred last year, he was great at impersonations, and he could do me really well.”
What is your favorite thing about playing at McCamish Pavilion?
“I feel at home. We are in one of the best cities in the world. It does not get any better being in the heart of Atlanta. People come from all over. It is our job to get people in the doors because there is so much to do here. When we have packed crowds and tons of fans here it lets us know we are doing it right.”
What is your nickname?
“I Dunk on You. I have not been dunking lately, I’m getting old.”