Canadian basketball player Shanice Clark found dead in dorm room

Clark, 21, aspired to a broadcasting career (California University of Pennsylvania photo)
Clark, 21, aspired to a broadcasting career (California University of Pennsylvania photo)

The loss of young potential seldom makes sense and is always sad, especially in the case of Toronto college basketball player Shanice Clark.

The 21-year-old, who was raised by a single mother before moving on to eventually play hoops and study at California University of Pennsylvania, died suddenly on Sunday morning in her residence room. A preliminary medicat report indicated that Clark, a senior who was having a redshirt season, might have choked on a piece of chewing gum after falling asleep.

Basketball teams, due to having smaller rosters than in other sports, tend to have a dynamic where everyone is constantly together. Making that works relies on having people who can keep the mood light — a quality that goes a long way in life, too — and Clark was said to have that gift.

From Ethan Lou:

Cleveland Clunis, founder of a non-profit organization whose basketball program Clark attended, said the player pushed herself hard in the sport, travelling to New York spring and summer, where she would train at St. John’s University and play in the Amateur Athletic Union.

... Clunis said Clark’s humour made her a good conduit between coaches and players, often helping defuse tense situations and keep peace on the court.

“She could start a conversation with you from morning and still have you laughing and interested till sundown,” he said.

Clark majored in communications and was to graduate this year, which a university official said she spent redshirting after playing two dozen games for the school’s team, the Vulcans, last season.

Athletic director Karen Hjerpe called Clark “a bright student and talented player” and said “her smile and personality will be missed.” (Toronto Star)

Scratch a Canadian who can handle all the adjustments to competing in the NCAA, while also being a student-athlete, and typically you'll find a very determined person. Clark, who aspired toward a career in broadcasting, will surely be missed. The former star at Toronto's Cederbrae Collegeiate is survived by her mother, Kashaeka Fearon, and one sister.

A moment of silence before high school, college and university games in the Toronto area this week might be in store. There's likely to be someone in each game who is close to someone who was close to Shanice Clark.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting