FARGO-- Former Bison star Vinnie Shahid is holding his first ever basketball camp this weekend at the Fargo Basketball Academy. The three-day event features Shahid and some of his former teammates teaching athletes from kindergarten through high school. Shahid is from the Twin Cities, but holding this clinic at the FBA is like holding it at his second home.
“It is full circle, it’s kind of weird how it works,” said Shahid.
His first professional season of basketball brought him across the pond to Luxembourg., but Vinnie Shahid will always consider Fargo home as well.
“I just kind of took Fargo in and Fargo took me in and embraced me at a time where I was growing as a person and growing as a basketball player. The way that they embraced me and kind of took me in as a family, it’s almost kind of like this is a second home to me,” said Shahid.
The Fargo Basketball Academy is a place that gave Shahid an opportunity in a year of so much uncertainty.
“Man, Josh and Katie, those two people. They have done so much for me since I have been in Fargo,” said Shahid.
Josh and Katie Johnson own FBA.
“We love having Vinnie around, great big hearted, kind hearted guy,” said Katie.
When the pandemic put an abrupt end to Vinnie’s collegiate career at NDSU, he needed a place to practice. He still had high hopes of turning pro, but had no place to practice.
“They gave me a summer job. The big thing that they really did is when Covid shut down everything, we couldn’t work out at the SHAC. I was trying to get ready for my pro career and I was still in Fargo. Josh and Katie allowed me to come into the gym and use the gym whenever I wanted to. From then on we kind of built a relationship, because I was seeing them everyday. So when I brought up the idea that I wanted to do a camp in Fargo, they reached out to me right away,” said Shahid.
“He would come in here and practice a lot, let our kids run around with him and just kind of got to be a really good friend. The summer of 2019, he did a lot of private lessons and then worked a lot of our young kids camps. He just got to be just a great part of the FBA family and really just enjoyed having him be a part of our team,” said Katie.
So this summer, Vinnie wanted to return the favor, and asked Katie and Josh if he could hold his first ever camp in their gym. It didn’t take long for the Johnson’s to accept.
“Yeah, 30 seconds at least, super fast,” said Katie.
What started as a summer job in 2019, has turned into a lifelong friendship that will forever be bonded on the court.
“When you don’t have much and people reach their hand out and are trying to help, it means the world. If I can give back to them or help them do anything, I always try to help them because they are always there to help me,” said Sahid.
Shahid hopes to extend this camp to the Minneapolis area next year, but says he will always be coming back to hold it in Fargo as well.