The Riverhead girls basketball record holder for points scored in a career has changed venues.
Shanice Allen, who accepted a full scholarship to Pace University after scoring 1,414 points throughout her five-year Blue Waves varsity career, suits up for NYIT this upcoming season.
After establishing a winning mentality at Riverhead under the coaching of Dave Spinella, her experience at Pace wasn’t exactly the same. Her team finished with a regular season record of 6-20 and though she started every game down the stretch of the season, scoring over 20 points a game on some nights, Allen’s relationship with her coach wasn’t one she wanted to continue.
“The coach was just not a good fit for me,” Allen said. “I didn’t really agree with their system or their coach.”
So after the season concluded, she asked for release papers so that she could pursue other options.
“They tried to talk me out of it,” Allen said. “They asked why and what they could do to change my mind. But by then, my mind was already made up so I don’t think they wanted to push the issue. Before the decision was 100 percent final they said if I changed my mind they would have taken me back.”
From there, she expressed interest in NYIT. Many of the players she grew up playing with were already on the team and after Allen visited, she decided that NYIT was where she wanted to go. After researching the type of player she was, they offered her a full scholarship to join the team.
Spinella, Allen’s high school coach stood by her decision saying: “If you consider all factors, basketball is just a small part of the college equation. You have to consider location, academics and social life, too. They all may have played a part. All that matters is that she’s happy.”
“The program is very family oriented,” Allen said. “I can tell the coaching staff really cares for their players. I feel as though I’ve known my coach for a long time. I built a very strong bond even though it’s only been a few months.”
Allen has already played her way into a starting role and scored 29 points in her first scrimmage against the University of New Haven, a team picked to finish first in the Northeast-10 conference, the same conference Pace plays in.
NYIT (1-1) is picked to finished fourth in the East Coast Conference.
“We plan to change that idea,” Allen said.
Coincidentally she played her first regular game of the season against Pace University Nov. 14. Allen scored 10 points in NYIT’s 70-65 victory.
She’ll also face former Riverhead teammate Jalyn Brown later in the season who plays at LIU Post. LIU won the East Coast Conference last season with a 18-2 record.
Asked if she has any advice for those that find themselves in a situation such as her own, she said: “There’s always other options. Even when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, don’t give up. I had no idea how to go about transferring but I knew that if I wanted to go somewhere else I had to perform.”
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