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Central Coast Classic: Revisiting Shane Carney's days at Hancock College
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Central Coast Classic: Revisiting Shane Carney's days at Hancock College

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He was an All-Western State conference point guard during his freshman season, and Shane Carney’s Hancock College basketball career was rolling along.

After Carney’s stellar 2015-16 season for the Bulldogs, everything changed in 2016. Carney made sure the change would not be permanent.

He was in an automobile crash in October of the year. Carney would have to get bypass surgery in order for doctors to place a vein from his leg into his right bicep because of a blood clot in Carney’s right arm.

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“The accident happened three days before the start of the season,” Carney said shortly after his illustrious career at Hancock was over.

After taking a medical grey-shirt for the 2016-17 season, Carney led the Bulldogs to the 2018 state tournament. The Bulldogs lost 86-63 to eventual state champ City College of San Francisco in the first game.

The Bulldogs made their first appearance in the state tournament since 1978 when they won the state tournament.

Carney said he was driving through the intersection of Bradley and Betteravia one October day in 2016 when, “The other driver didn’t yield,” and struck Carney’s car.

“I just had a cut on my knee at first. I got some stitches and then my arm started bothering me.

“At first I thought it was just because I’d been on crutches. Then (the pain) just kept up and I thought, “No, there’s something else.”

Carney said, “It turned out I had a blood clot. I had the bypass surgery on Dec. 27, and I got out of the hospital the next day.”

He played in Hancock’s first nine games afterward. Then, he said, he felt he simply couldn’t go any longer on the court, though he cheered his teammates on from the sideline the rest of the season.

“I was able to play basketball on my own around Feb. 16 or 17,” said Carney.

Carney worked diligently during his rehab period and, “The arm doesn’t bother me any more,” he said during a post-season interview in 2018.

“There’s still a clot there, but blood flows around it. I just have to take a baby aspirin every morning to make sure the blood’s thinned out.”

Carney said, “The rehab process took eight weeks. It was supposed to be six weeks, but I had a setback. I had a contracture in my arm, and I couldn’t extend my arm fully.”

Fixing that, Carney said, required more therapy, and he credited Hancock coach Tyson Aye and his staff for helping him get through it.

With his right arm again at full strength, it was full speed ahead for Carney. He led the Bulldogs to a 23-10 campaign. Hancock finished 8-2 in the Western State Conference North Division, second behind Ventura.

Carney averaged 17.5 points and 5.2 assists a game in 2017-18, leading the Bulldogs in both categories. He made the All-State team.

After taking the medical grey-shirt season, “I was more consistent,” than he was during his freshman campaign, Carney said.

“I knew what would be expected of me during my third-year sophomore season, and that helped me PREPARE for that season.”

Carney signed with Arizona Christian University and was having a solid career there before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the 2019-20 season short. Carney earned NAIA All-American Honorable Mention honors this season.

Carney led the Fire Storm in points (458), assists (111) and steals (39) on the season. He averaged 15.3 points per game and 3.7 assists this season.

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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