Whether his fingers are on the keys of a piano or the dimpled leather of a basketball, about to sink another jumper, Kaleb Shelton-Johnson displays an extraordinary range of talent. The recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound earned recognition as the co-winner of the Dick Hannula Award for Amateur Athlete of the Year for his basketball skills. But he’s an equally talented musician.
As UPS President Ron Thomas wrote in an editorial on NCAA.com: “He is as talented on the keyboard as he is on the court – as much a monster under the boards as he is a master of the concert hall.”
Shelton-Johnson, who is a graduate of Tacoma’s School of the Arts and was a standout athlete for the Lincoln Abes, is a 6-foot-5 small forward who passed the 1,000-point mark as a senior at UPS. He completed his career by averaging 11.3 points per game and leading the 20-win Loggers to the Northwest Conference tournament championship game. He was the Loggers captain and a first-team All-NWC selection. Shelton-Johnson also averaged 5.9 rebounds, one steal and 1.8 assists per game. He helped the Loggers get off to their best start in 40 years, winning their first 10 games. He was selected to the Academic All-District First Team.
Shelton-Johnson was recently honored with the Ben Cheney Award as the University of Puget Sound Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year for 2011-12.
Last summer, he and his brothers, Aubrey, Ben and Austin won the elite men’s 6-feet-and-over championship at Spokane’s Hoopfest, one of the most prestigious 3-on-3 tournaments in the nation. The Shelton’s were the first team all from Tacoma and the first group of brothers to win Hoopfest.
As a junior at UPS, Shelton-Johnson was a second-team All-NWC selection after leading the Loggers in minutes played, scoring and rebounding. He averaged career-highs with 16.5 point and 7 rebounds per game. He earned Academic All-District First-Team honors. In his freshman season, the Loggers were the first team to complete NWC play undefeated (16-0) and advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen. Before taking his skills to UPS, Shelton-Johnson led Lincoln to a fourth-place finish at the 2007-08 4A state basketball tournament and was a first-team All-Narrows League player. He also scored more than 1,000 career points for the Abes.
Shelton-Johnson was a double major in music and Spanish and is considering professional basketball options in Spain.