Shy Ulrickson drives to the basket during a game against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last season in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Photo provided by Babson Athletic Department

Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of our series, “Catching Up With,” in which we catch up with some people we’ve covered over the last few decades.

TOPSHAM— Shyheim Ulrickson enjoyed a standout career on the Mt. Ararat boys basketball team before going on to play at Division III Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Now, Ulrickson is back in town for the time being, hoping to help younger players in the area develop their game in his own backyard.

“It feels good to give back and do my part to help shape the future of basketball in the area,” said Ulrickson. “It’s definitely something I enjoy doing and take some pride in.”

Ulrickson has been coaching and training younger athletes in and around Topsham from his ‘basketball barn’ on his family’s property in Topsham, something he hopes to continue to do for the foreseeable future.

After graduating from Babson with a degree in finance last May, Ulrickson is working for Bank of America as a financial management analyst from home, until their office opens back up in Charlotte.

“It’s nice to be back in the area for a little bit before I make the big move,” said Ulrickson.

While at Babson, Ulrickson worked his way up the rotation on the basketball team while getting the college experience in a place much different from his hometown.

“I got to experience some different aspects of life at Babson that I didn’t get to experience in a town like Topsham,” Ulrickson said. “It was a nice change and was a good experience for me to have.”

When he first attended Mt. Ararat, Ulrickson played football his freshman year, then soccer in his sophomore year. However, he then decided to focus exclusively on basketball.

“Playing for Mt. Ararat and on travel teams in the area definitely helped me develop some good time management skills,” said Ulrickson. “But overall, playing for the Eagles meant a lot, and my game grew to another level during my time at Mt. Ararat.”

Mt. Ararat was special for Ulrickson off the court as well.

“Some of the relationships I developed with teachers and coaches helped me become who I am today, and of course all of my friends and classmates, definitely some special memories with them,” he said.

Ulrickson graduated from Mt. Ararat in 2016 after helping lead the Eagles to four consecutive Class A postseason appearances. He finished his career with 1,512 points. He bowed out with 27 points in his final high school game, a playoff loss to Brunswick in the 2016 Class A South quarterfinals. Ulrickson played well enough in his senior season to earn a spot on the 2015-16 All-USA Maine boys basketball second team, selected by USA Today.

Ulrickson had a couple colleges he was deciding between, but ultimately felt as though Babson would be the best fit.

“I was looking at a couple other schools including Colby, but I wanted to get out of the state and experience something a little different,” Ulrickson said.

Babson would go on to win the Division III national championship during his freshman year in 2017. The experience of making that kind run as a player on the bench gave Ulrickson a different feel for the game.

“I went from being the leader to taking a back seat and having older guys lead me; it gave me a perspective on accountability on each level,” he added.

Shy Ulrickson evades a defender during a game last season in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Photo provided by Babson Athletic Department

As Ulrickson progressed through school, his role on the team became more apparent. He jumped from 5.7 minutes per game his freshman year to 27 a game his sophomore year, and 28 per game his junior season.

In his senior season, Babson received a highly recruited transfer in Crew Ainge, the son of former Boston Celtics great Danny Ainge. The younger Ainge cut into some of Ulrickson’s playing time.

“It wasn’t what I envisioned for my senior season, but it allowed me to focus a little more on my job search, and helped me become a better teammate and leader on and off the court,” Ulrickson said. “Crew was a hard worker and I never took it personally.”

Ulrickson added the team was able to attend some Celtics games with Crew, but also had a connection with the Celtics prior to Crew’s arrival at Babson.

“The team was fortunate enough to have a ‘roundtable’ with coaches in the Celtics organization, it was definitely fun to pick their brain and receive knowledge from coaches at the highest level,” said Ulrickson.

While those experiences were fun, Ulrickson recalled coming back to Maine for road games when Babson would face Bowdoin and Bates.

“It was always nice to come home and be in a familiar place, and have my family there to support me,” Ulrickson added. “I grew up in the Bowdoin gym and felt more comfortable in that gym than any other.”

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