Battier started his basketball career at Detroit Country Day School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he won many awards including 1997 "Mr. Basketball" while playing for coach Kurt Keener. Battier went on to attend Duke University, where he played for Mike Krzyzewski. He led the Blue Devils to two Final Fours, in 1999 and 2001. The Blue Devils lost to the Connecticut Huskies in the 1999 finals, but came back to win the national championship by defeating the Arizona Wildcats two years later. He even had his number 31 retired by the Blue Devils. Coincidentally, the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the Blue Devils won the 2001 championship, was the very same building in which they won the 1992 championship with Christian Laettner, Grant Hill, and Bobby Hurley leading the way. Battier himself drew many comparisons to Hill, and he played all four years at Duke. (No Blue Devils player had left Duke early for the NBA until 1999, when Battier's teammates Elton Brand, William Avery, and Corey Maggette decided to leave.)
Battier was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies with the sixth pick of the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft. He was the Grizzlies' first draft pick since the team left Vancouver, British Columbia after six years.
Battier is a player with exceptional skills on both offense and defense. He can score inside, as well as hit the three-pointer with ease. He can play three positions: shooting guard, power forward and small forward.
He once told Stuart Scott with Shane Battier ESPN magazine, "I don't know what I will end up doing post-basketball. I've always been intrigued by politics. I may be a bit too idealistic to run for office. We'll see."