Local athlete breaks all-time OCAA scoring record

Alyssa Horrobin
By Alyssa Horrobin March 24, 2018 10:56

Shannon Kennedy, 22, now holds the title of top all-time scorer in OCAA women’s basketball. (Photos by Alyssa Horrobin)

A player for the St. Clair women’s basketball team recently broke the all-time scoring record for the OCAA.

Fifth year student athlete Shannon Kennedy now holds the title of top scorer in the province for women’s basketball with 1,401 points.

“It’s pretty surreal still,” said Kennedy. “It’s obviously a pretty good accomplishment, and I’m pretty proud of myself for doing it, but I couldn’t have done it without the girls on my team throughout the past five years.”

Attributing her success to her coaches and the college as well, Kennedy says it really has been a group effort.

And the impact doesn’t stop at the team or even the school.

“We’re able to share that with the community. We use the term community college around here and we’re very much part of the fabric of what the community is, and Shannon is part of that,” said Ted Beale, athletic director for St. Clair College.

“Would it mean less if it was a student athlete not from the local area? No, but at the same time it’s really nice and special and we can share it with the community and it’s homegrown.”

Kennedy said she has always been a homebody and felt no pull to move away for school when she found what she needed at St. Clair.

Part of the reason she was comfortable choosing St. Clair and playing for the team is having known head coach Andy Kiss her whole life.

Of the 17 years Kennedy has played basketball, Kiss – or “AK” as the team refers to him as – only coached her at St. Clair College when they both started at the school five years ago. Kennedy as a student and Kiss as the women’s basketball coach.

“Shannon is very cerebral, very smart player. She understands the game. She’s not gifted physically with high level quick twitch muscle fibre, but she’s got the brains,” said Kiss.

“Obviously her shooting prowess, whenever you watch her play her shooting range is off the charts. (She) understands the game, excellent talent, excellent shooter.”

Kennedy has made many accomplishments over the last five years in basketball. She was named rookie of the year her first year on the team and helped lead them to a bronze medal in the OCAA championships that year. Her second year she was player of the year in Ontario and made CCAA All-Canadian. She also surpassed St. Clair’s scoring record which had not been broken since the early 80s.

As far as breaking the all-time scoring record, Kennedy said she didn’t even want to know how close she was so she could keep her head in the game and let things happen naturally. Kiss said this accomplishment is something she has

This is Kennedy’s final year on the team and at St. Clair. Many who have played with her and gotten to know her over the last five years feel she has left her mark at the school.

She said the relationships she has built through playing for the school, both in teammates and across the province, have been one of the most rewarding parts of playing the game.

“I could have never even guessed that any of this would happen, any of the team goals that we’ve accomplished or even just the individual accomplishments,” said Kennedy.

“I couldn’t have written this out…the whole thing is so surprising. It’s unbelievable that it’s over — five years goes by real fast.”

While leaving will be bittersweet, Kennedy has her sights already set on her next goals, both for her career and for basketball.

Having taken Early Childhood Education and Educational Support and soon to graduate from Autism Behavioural Sciences, Kennedy still plans to stay local and get a job with the school board working with special needs children. She also wants to help coach a younger girls’ travel basketball team.

Alyssa Horrobin
By Alyssa Horrobin March 24, 2018 10:56

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