Niagara Gazette

Sports

January 18, 2011

Canahai shines in the spotlight

BUFFALO — Shane Canahai has never been one to pass up the open shot. It’s just this year the D’Youville College senior is knocking those shots down on a consistent basis.

“It’s a confidence thing,” he said. “That and the first two years here that wasn’t my role. This year, though, I’m looked at to score more than ever.”

The most prolific scorer in Starpoint High School history, Canahai admits that he struggled to adjust to the college game.

“It’s kind of taken me three-and-a-half years to figure out how to play at this level,” the former Niagara County Community College standout said. “In high school, probably 90 percent of my buckets came by driving to the basket or in transition. In college, guys are so much bigger, stronger and more athletic that you have to develop a more all-around game.”

Canahai put in the work and it’s really beginning to pay off. He is currently the Spartans leading scorer and recently netted a career-high 29 points in a win over conference rival PItt-Greensburg. That performance earned him Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Player of the Week honors.

“I’m the only senior on the team and coach (Glenn Taplin) told me me that I needed to step up and play big and right now I think I’m doing that,” Canahai said. “I’m playing with a lot of confidence and having a lot of fun.”

Canahai’s strong play coupled with consistency from the duo of Greg Osika (Depew) and Patrick Coyle has D’Youville thinking playoffs at the mid-point of the AMCC slate.

And that’s music the ears of a true competitor such as Canahai, the grandson of the longtime Buffalo Bills athletic trainer and Wall of Famer Eddie Abramoski.

“At this point being my last year I’d love to get a taste of what postseason play is like,” he said. “I’m just looking to knock down shots and do whatever my team needs to get there. All we want is a shot at this thing.”

Canahai is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in health service management in May and would like to get into coaching in the future.

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