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April 26, 2013

Shap goes home

April 26, 2013 - The Hoya Nation learned today with great sadness Sports Information Director Bill 'Shap' Shapland passed this morning at Northern Virginia Hospital Center. Shapland, born 1955, was as much a fixture in Georgetown Men's Basketball as any other figure over the last thirty years.

Shapland, a true Hoya, entered Georgetown in 1973, graduating with an English Literature degree. Subsequently, he returned to The Hilltop, securing a masters degree in English Lit in 1982.

Around that time three years was served as G'Town's equipment manager, before being elevated to Sports Information Director in 1984 which he continued through this past year. It was during his SID tenure that Shapland obtained the label of non-nonsense and business-like.

That image, while in a professional capacity had its roots in reality, was only half the story, as Shap loved conversation and was known to engage in it with a wide range of people.

His command of the spoken word was reportedly observable in one of his little known loves - acting - and also in professional endeavors, as Shap was critical in Georgetown's consistent and effective, defacto media training for its athletes: After many a press conference, he would coach up the charges, advising them of how to handle questions and present themselves. Resultantly, few can argue that Georgetown basketball players generally know how to handle themselves in the public eye.

This writer would like to say 'Thanks Shap', for allowing me to ask you questions and learn, while even picking with you at times. I benefited greatly, not just regarding covering the team, but learning from a wise man with a big heart, one he masked, but was visible if you took the time to look.


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