Lake Region High senior Shauna Hancock comes from basketball lineage, but she will heading to Flagler College in Florida on a lacrosse scholarship. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

While leading one of the state’s most successful girls’ basketball programs, Lake Region’s Paul True has had the good fortune of having a member of the legendary Hancock family on his roster most of the time.

Now he’s down to his last one: Shauna Hancock, a senior guard who is following in the footsteps of cousins Abby (2010 graduate) and Sydney (2014), and sisters Sarah (2015) and CeCe (2016).

“They were all leaders for us,” said True.

Abby and Sydney are daughters of Kevin Hancock; Sarah, CeCe and Shauna are daughters of Matt. Both Hancock dads not only starred at Lake Region but played in college.

Shauna, 17, has accepted a scholarship to play lacrosse at Flagler College, a new NCAA Division II program in St. Augustine, Florida. She talks about the path she took to get there and how her family influenced her life.

Q: Growing up in this family, did you almost have to play basketball?

A: I definitely think that it wouldn’t have changed obviously how anyone in (my) family saw me. But it is a big part of my entire family’s lives and gives me a commonality with everyone in my family just by playing.

Q: Were there a lot of pickup games growing up?

A: Every Thanksgiving, before we ate dinner, my mom’s side of the family would be over, then me and my sisters and dad and everyone would play big pickup game.

Q: Did your siblings set an example for you?

A: It always was mainly my siblings and cousins that made me want to continue to play, I basically grew up in a basketball gym with my sisters and cousins, going to their games basically every weekend of my life. Seeing them and watching them become better players made me strive to become the player I am today.

Q: Was there pressure following them all?

A: It does add some pressure. I hear sometimes like just how similar I play to my siblings. And also sometimes, I hear this often actually, I hear ‘We want you to be as fast as Sydney,’ or ‘We want you to be as aggressive as CeCe but as good a shooter as Sarah.’ That does add some pressure. But at the end of the day I am my own player and I think my teammates and coaches know that as well.

Q: How did the lacrosse scholarship come about?

A: Actually, it was very interesting. I was looking at some schools down south because I knew I did not like, really, the winter. I’m not a person for the cold. So I was looking at a couple of schools that had good lacrosse programs. I heard from my (Lake Region) coach that Flagler was starting a new lacrosse program and that I should contact the coach. So I reached out to him. I obviously didn’t have any film because I missed my junior year playing (the spring season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic). And that’s the big year, so I had no film on that. So I played out-of-season lacrosse and got some film for those games and sent them to him. I went to a recruiting camp down there, met some girls who had already committed and toured the campus. As soon as I walked on the campus, I knew that was the place I wanted to go.

Q: Did you play lacrosse much growing up?

A: Actually I used to be pretty big on softball. It was a sport I loved. But I had one year where I struck out every at-bat. So I decided that sport probably wasn’t the right one for me. And that was the same year they started youth lacrosse.

Q: Is it going to be strange next winter without basketball?

A: I definitely think it will be. It will definitely be something new. I spent the majority of my life in the gym. But I’m excited to change it over and see what lacrosse can bring to me.

Q: Do you feel fortunate to have grown up in a family that valued sports as yours did?

A: It helped growing up in a sports family. Everything you do as a family becomes sort of, ‘Let’s go out and do this,’ or ‘Let’s go out and play basketball’ when we got bored.”

Q: Do you feel fortunate to be youngest?

A: It helped watching them go through everything, knowing that they’ve been through the majority of what I’ve been through. That definitely helps. When we lost the state championship (in lacrosse her sophomore year), they had gone through that too in basketball and they knew the same feeling I was having and could talk to me about it.

Q: Was it important that people got to know who you were and what you were like?

A: I have struggled with that as a person. It is hard sometimes having that one sport be your whole life. I was contemplating playing basketball in college right till the beginning of this year. I didn’t think I would be good enough to play lacrosse in college. I definitely think that making my own path was very important for myself.

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