Humber Hawks all-star guard Shane Dennie is one of the best players in Ontario, leading arguably the best team in the OCAA. The 23-year-old Toronto native started ballin’ as a youngster thanks to one of his two sisters. He was about five when he discovered the game that would leave a lasting impression on his life. When his sister became a provincial player he followed her to all her tournaments because “I just wanted to be like her” says Dennie.
His true basketball potential was realized while at Vaughan Secondary School where he played for five years. During his last season he netted 30 points per game. He parlayed that success into a scholarship from Biola University in Los Angeles. Dissatisfied with how things were going there he came back to his hometown and enrolled at Humber College.
His eye for the court never left him but he wasn’t sure what to expect from his transfer. “I questioned whether the level of play would be as good as it was in L.A.,” he said. “When I did get over here, I didn’t get a chance to play because I tore my ACL and my meniscus. I blew out my knee. Anything I expected all went out the window when I injured myself.”
In his first full season suiting up for the Hawks, the 6-1, 175-pound freshmen was the eighth highest scorer in the province dropping 14.6 PPG, leading his team to a 12-3 record and bronze at the OCAA championships. That campaign also saw him become a league and OCAA tournament all-star, all-Canadian and Ontario’s player of the year.
He models his game after Mike Bibby because of his ability to come off ball screens and he describes himself as a “pure shooter.” He also admits to studying the likes of Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady
and Lebron James, in order to learn things and add them to his game.
This year, his scoring may be down slightly from last season but it’s not affecting him or the team. The third-year player is praised for his influence on the team as a strong worker and big-time player. He knows he is counted on to lead by example. “What’s made Shane a valuable member of our team is the work ethic he brings every day to practice and his commitment to the team,” head coach Darrell Glenn said.
The Humber squad is consistently near the top of the rankings in Ontario. But to Dennie, there is no doubt in his mind about the potential for the Hawks. For him, anything less than a championship is “a major disappointment,” he proclaimed. “We can win it all. We have the most size in the country. We have the best guard play and when we want to, we have the best defence.”
Being a prime time player hasn’t clouded his focus on schoolwork. The Recreation and Leisure Studies student has made school his top priority and has an eye towards maintaining good grades and going to university. “I’m really proud of the steps he’s taken off the court,” expressed Coach Glenn. “He’s made a lot of changes and he’s done a lot of positive things to put himself in a good situation academically, socially and emotionally.”
Humber athletic director Doug Fox concurred. “When he first got here, he wasn’t steady with school, he wasn’t sure about his basketball career and in the last two years he’s become the type of player and person that we really like. His grades have really improved and he’s very conscientious of his team.”