Shelby Snook, a redshirt sophomore guard from Roseburg, Oregon, had to deal with a significant injury during her time on the Lane women’s basketball team.She has since recovered, rallied and became one of the top players in Lane basketball history.
A week before her sophomore year, Snook tore her ACL, forcing her to redshirt the 2014-15 season.
After leading the team in scoring during Lane’s 2013-14 NWAC final four-appearance season, it was a new and difficult experience for Snook to be sidelined.
“It was tough, especially the first 5-7 games that I had to watch,” Snook said. “Sitting on the bench and knowing what you could do to impact the game was really difficult and just understanding that I had to try and help the team in whatever way I could.”
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are some of the most common knee injuries, according to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The injury severity ranges from grade 1 sprains, where the ligament is mildly damaged, to grade 3 sprains, where the ligament is completely torn. Recovery can take up to nine months, according to Dr. Benjamin Wedro.
Because of Snook’s injury, Greg Sheley, head women’s basketball coach, feels fortunate to have spent three years with Snook, compared to the average two that a community college normally allows.
“By having her be with us for a third year because of injury, you get to know people a little bit more,” Sheley said. “Those two years are such a turnover, but she’s an outstanding person, very selfless and caring of her teammates, so it’s been fun to get to know her.”
Snook herself has found the silver lining. The extra year has given her the opportunity to learn and execute the game at a higher level.
“I got to understand more what the coaches wanted out of me, so I think this last year I’ve done a better job as a point guard,” Snook said.
It is clear that Snook’s impact has been a huge factor in leading the Titans to a 29-1 record thus far. Snook leads the Northwest Athletic Conference with 252 total assists, overtaking the next ranked athlete by over 60 assists. Moreover she is tenth in scoring, twelfth in free-throw percentage and fifteenth in 3-point field goals.
Snook’s teammates rely on her leadership and ability to show by example. Sophomore guard Sara Kesling has enjoyed playing with Snook and getting to know her on and off the court.
“She’s very humble,” Kesling said. “She’s very encouraging. I have a lot of confidence in her and I know she can hold our team up in times of need.”
Snook has overcome a lot, but hopes to be that determining factor during the rest of the NWAC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament. Starting out strong against Everett, Snook tallied 25 points in just-under 25 minutes of playing time in Lane’s first-round 89-39 win.
The Titans now advance to the elite eight of the tournament where they will play Centralia College on March 10 at 4 p.m. in Everett, Wash.