BOULDER — Redshirt freshman quarterback Shane Dillon announced Tuesday that he plans on transferring from the University of Colorado to pursue his true passion of playing college basketball.
“I’ve grown up playing basketball my entire life, I’ve always been a basketball kid and have played since I was 4 years old,” said Dillon, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 200 pounds. “I was a late bloomer in football and never started playing quarterback until halfway through my sophomore year.
“I always kind of felt my decision that I had to play football was forced upon me a little bit,” he added. “People told me I had to make a decision by the end of my junior year between football and basketball because quarterbacks all seemed to commit pretty early. Basketball has always been my passion, and even though I really enjoyed my year here, I felt the time is now for me to make the change.”
Dillon averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds as a senior, and 25 and 12, respectively, as a junior, at Christian High School in El Cajon, Calif., and was recruited by several schools for basketball.
“We hate to see Shane go, he’s truly a phenomenal young man, but we understand what he wants to pursue,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “I felt like he definitely had a future in football, but as Shane and I discussed, it was going to take hard work to succeed in football, and it’s also the same for basketball. Instead of throwing passes for three hours in practice, he’ll be shooting baskets.
“But you just can’t change your passion, and his is basketball,” MacIntyre continued. “It was a tough decision for him but one that he reached after working through it the entire year. We wish him the very best and we know that he will be successful in whatever he attempts in the future.”
Dillon practiced on a limited basis as a true freshman last fall while completing rehabilitation from major shoulder surgery. He said the shoulder has felt fine since the early spring and played no role in his decision to pursue basketball. In the four main spring scrimmages, he completed 19-of-39 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns (one interception), and rushed for 26 yards on 10 attempts.
Dillon did speak with basketball coach Tad Boyle about the possibility of joining the CU men’s team, but all scholarships in 2013-14 are spoken for so he would have had to be a walk-on and then try to earn a scholarship a year from now. “That’s something my family really can’t afford right now, or I would definitely have considered that option.”
“I’ve grown so close to so many guys here, especially my roommates,” Dillon said. “It was real hard on them when I told them the news; I’ve made some lifelong friends here. It was definitely a blessing to come to CU, I love it here. Colorado is always going to have a special place in my heart. I just have to go somewhere to continue my education and play basketball.”