A WALK WITH A HAWK...FEATURING: SHANYCE STEWART
Stewart, a rebounding guru for the Hawks, has big plans upon graduation
Stewart, a rebounding guru for the Hawks, has big plans upon graduation

Feb. 13, 2014

PRINCESS ANNE, MD. — When Shanyce Stewart searched for her college of choice, she had two ambitious goals in mind—one was to earn a degree in electrical engineering and the second was to make an impact in the world of Division I basketball. But as colleges recruiting, she found that some coaches were either not excited or not comfortable about coaching a player that would be taking on a difficult and time consuming major.

At UMES, there were no such concerns. With the coaching staff expressing a confidence that she could do both, Stewart enrolled at UMES in 2010.

The Mount Vernon, N.Y. native found her niche on the basketball court in her freshman year, earning twelve starts for the Lady Hawks and averaging three rebounds per game. Rebounding became a key part of the 6-foot-1-inch forward’s game, as that RPG average increased to 6.9 in her sophomore year and 7.3 in her junior year. This year, she leads the team with 9.1 rebounds per game. Yet for Shanyce, her most exciting athletic accomplishment were winning homecoming her first three years on campus and an upset over Old Dominion two seasons ago, something she and her teammates take great pride in.

When meeting Stewart, you find an exterior shell that appears quiet and timid. That shell, though, is a mere mirage, and behind it lays a purpose driven and faith filled person. She learned that from late in her freshman year. “Once you understand what you’re really here for, your purpose just takes over” Stewart said in a recent interview. “Now as a senior, I try to help the underclassmen to understand why they’re here and find joy in situations.” With that in mind, and with the encouragement of my coaches and family, that gives Stewart the focus she needs to succeed both academically and athletically.

While Stewart is leading and performing well on the basketball court, it is the academic world where she will earn her stripes in the future. Her anticipation is to move on to graduate school for biomedical engineering, and Columbia University in New York is among Stewart’s options. With her drive, ambition, and (hopefully soon) two diplomas, Stewart dreams of one day using her engineering talents in the medical research fields, finding cures or treatment for debilitating illnesses such as cancer or stroke, as her way of making a difference in the world. Her motivation comes from personal medical issues with her father and brother.

In the meantime, you can find her completing her senior year at UMES, where her leadership on the basketball team has earned her nickname “Grandma”, which is used as a term of endearment for her maturity and focus. Behind all that is a sense of humor that her teammates know all too well.

As she prepares to exit college and enter the prime time of young adulthood, Stewart appears to have a long term vision for her future, and the drive, energy, and tools to pursue them. However, when asked for her one wish for anything in the world, Stewart offered this answer for her basketball team:

“I want to win these last seven games.”