The 2016 NBA champion wrote a heartfelt note about his momentous win in an Instagram post on Wednesday. His win marks the first time an NBA player has won the show’s championship mirrorball trophy.
“Thank you to everyone involved in this show, I met incredible people that I won’t forget or ever stop rooting for!” wrote Shumpert, who most recently played with the Brooklyn Nets. “To have done most the lifting all season and then be lifted off of my feet in triumph from this kick ass cast put a lot into perspective for me!”
Shumpert gave a shoutout to his upbringing in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, and thanked his fellow contestants, the judges and the show’s producers for pushing him to win.
He then shared his appreciation for his dance coach, Daniella Karagach, who he said will “forever” be one of his favorite people.
Karagach also shared her appreciation for Shumpert, writing in an Instagram post on Friday that his “passion, hard work and dedication was unmatched.”
“We’d stay in the studio no matter the hour, and worked until you were satisfied with what you saw,” she said. “We were tired, bruised, injured and that didn’t phase you. I’m truly so proud of you and proud to call you a friend for life.”
Karagach commended Shumpert for his impressive lifts throughout the season and thanked him for “making me laugh every minute of every day.”
Shumpert’s win earned wide praise and excitement from viewers after the finale aired on Monday night.
His wife, singer Teyana Taylor, was at a loss for words: