Shooting for three

Jordan Ferris
By Jordan Ferris February 16, 2018 11:44

Shannon Kennedy before Feb. 12 practice. Photo by Jordan Ferris

By Jordan Ferris

A St. Clair College basketball player is three points away from being the all-time female scoring leader in the OCAA.

Shannon Kennedy, who has played basketball on the St. Clair Saints team for the past five years, currently has 1341 career points. Kennedy is three points behind current leader Jesseca Brown of Redeemer University College, who has 1343 points. Brown no longer plays college basketball, giving Kennedy the chance to pass her record on Feb. 17 when the Saints visit Humber College for a regular season game.

Kennedy has already received two diplomas from St.Clair college — one in early childhood education and the second in educational support. She is currently enrolled in the autism behavioural program.

Kennedy is now in her last season with the Saints. The league’s rules only allow up to five seasons per player. Playing competitive basketball since the age of three, Kennedy is used to being in a competitive basketball environment and said her years at St. Clair have been highly enjoyable.

“[My years here have] been good, they’ve been very positive, starting off with a bronze medal in my rookie year continuing up until now,” said Kennedy. “I’ve got some team success, some individual success with all-star recognition and all-Canadian awards. Hopefully, it will end up that way this year — with medals around our necks.”

Ted Beale, the athletic coordinator responsible for the women’s basketball team, has been with St. Clair since 2001. Beale was part of the recruitment process when Kennedy joined the team five years ago and has worked with her over those years. Beale said Kennedy has always been a strong player and this accomplishment is one of many.

“She holds the single-game record and she holds the career record for three-point shooting,” said Beale. “Each season she is padding a career mark in terms of three-point shooting. But she’s also a very good defensive rebounder and she many times has had double-double performances.”

A double-double is when a player scores double digits in points and catches 10 or more rebounds in a game.

Beale said Kennedy is also a leader on and off the court which has driven her teammates to help her reach this accomplishment.

“Her teammates are cheering for her and are pushing her along. They’ve allowed her over the five years to be in position for this kind of record and this year’s team is not different,” said Beale. “This year we have a lot of new faces on the team and she’s been welcomed by that group because they can point to her experience and know how to handle situations.”

Although she is close to reaching this accomplishment in her basketball career, Kennedy said she does not forget the people who helped her throughout the journey. She also said even though this is an individual accomplishment it was not an individual effort.

“I feel accomplished. It is a very respected award and I am proud of myself for getting it but I could not have gotten there without the help of the coaches I’ve had the last five years,” said Kennedy. “As well my teammates, they got me the ball, they’ve set screens, they’ve been more than supportive of me reaching this goal. It’s all kind of come together — it feels good.”

Even though her college career is close to an end, Kennedy said she does not plan on quitting the sport and will look into playing in a women’s league as well as coaching younger players. Kennedy said the friendships that are made between teammates is one that lasts forever and the thing she will miss the most is making those types of friendships. Beale said the team is ready to finish off Kennedy’s last year on a strong note.

“We wish her the best in trying to reach the mark,” said Beale. “For a lot of people it could be distracting. Shannon has handled it well and were looking forward to seeing it through.”

Jordan Ferris
By Jordan Ferris February 16, 2018 11:44

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