Fast Breaks: Shane Larkin
Nov. 10, 2011
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – They are stories of perseverance. Stories about growing up, becoming men and being a part of a family. One-by-one, we hear from them. These are the Miami Hurricanes…
Shane Larkin| Guard | Freshman | Cincinnati, Ohio
My family is supportive. They’ve always been behind me with everything that I have done. Even though my dad wasn’t always there due to baseball, my mom was always there for me, taking me to all of my games. My dad would talk to me after every game to see how I did and provide information on how I can improve. I have two sisters. My little sister is a young diva. She likes to sing and she’s trying to do well in that so I support her with everything she does. My older sister played lacrosse in high school. Now she’s at a cosmetology school doing make-up. I have a little brother. He’s not my blood brother but he lives with us because he wasn’t in such a good situation at home. We became friends my junior year of high school and he just moved in, his senior year and my freshman year of college. We just became best friends. We talk about everything, he’s just like my little brother.
I like to joke around and have fun. I like playing video games and listening to music. I like having fun, playing around and having fun with everyone. My favorite videogame is 2k12. Everyone on the team is playing it but I would say I’m the best. I haven’t played anybody but they’re scared to play me.
I was raised to be humble. My dad played Major League Baseball and always told me people were going to criticize me because of who he was and say “you’re spoiled, you’re a rich kid” and he told me not to listen to it. I was really good at playing football and one time I scored a touchdown and there was no one within 20 yards of me so I started show-boating and doing my best Deion Sanders impersonation. After the game he pulled me to the side and I thought he was going to be excited but he just yelled at me. He said “don’t ever do that again. Be humble. Don’t show-boat. Do your best and let that do the talking.” In basketball, you’ll see me get hyped with the team for a little bit but if I hit a three, you won’t see me running down the court with my hand up. I try to stay humble. You can enjoy what you’re doing without doing it in a boasting way.
I started playing basketball at five years old. I got a Fisher Price hoop as a kid and I was pretty athletic so I would dunk on it. I started playing basketball at the YMCA. I’ve never really been a big scorer, always a passer. I was a rebounder and passer, really athletic just like Shawn Marion.
The hardest part about being away from home is being away from my mom simply because my dad wasn’t there because he was playing baseball. My mom was there for me. She’s been down here to see me a couple of times. We’re really close so it’s a good thing I’m close to home.
I can’t lie I watch Jersey Shore and X-Factor. Those are my two favorite shows. The girl from down here, Melanie Amoro, she can sing. On Jersey Shore, I could see myself hanging out with Pauly D and Vinny because they’re crazy.
I’ve learned how to be more responsible and how to assess a situation before I need to jump into something. I’m living on my own, in my own apartment right now so I can’t wake up and ask my mom to wash something for me before school. It’s not like when I was at home and can ask her to do something for me. I’m down here on my own, living on my own so there are a lot of responsibilities on me. I have to go to practice, keep my house clean, get groceries when I need them, and not to mention school work.
When I was younger I pretended to be Allen Iverson as best as I could. He was my favorite player, number 3 all the way. I just tried to be A.I. with all of the tricks. I had everything A.I. I had the wrist bands, the headbands, even with the curly hair I tried to braid my hair.
I’ll never forget at the Championship game in Lakeland we were down two with 6.7 seconds left and they had the ball. We called a timeout and the coach was looking around trying to figure out who he was going to put in the game. I was already in the game and he said “Shane you need to get a steal”. I was young so there was a lot of pressure on me already being in a national championship game so I was nervous and said I would try. The team tried to throw it over the top and I caught it at half court. Coach calls timeout and we went back to the huddle. I’m not a shooter at all, I’m just a driver who gets to the basket and he says “Shane we need you shoot this three”. Coach stressed it was win or go home right now. There were four seconds left, I did my little A.I. move, took a step back and shot a three from three steps behind the line. I hit it and the fans went crazy. My Uncle Joe ran on the court and picked me up. My mom and cousins came out too.
I’m a Miami Hurricane because I love the city of Miami and I think this team can do something special. Coach L is a great coach with a lot of experience but coming from a mid-major school he hasn’t had a lot of talent like he can get at this level. I think with him coming here and with his coaching abilities, we’ll do great things.
Playing basketball has made me take advantage of plenty of opportunities that have been presented to me. I’ve been able to travel to different states. It’s made me into the person I am. Everyone wanted me to play baseball because of my dad but I never really found baseball exciting. The reason why basketball has been my sport is because it motivates me to succeed in this sport. My dad played baseball and made it in baseball so they say I should have done the same. With me playing basketball I have to work for everything I get and I’m not going to be given anything, so it is my motivation to do better as an athlete.
I’ve visited about 30 of the 50 states and Hawaii was my favorite. We went to a holiday tournament in Hawaii my senior year of high school. We lost to Oak Hill in the semi-finals but it was a great experience.
The U is very family oriented. All of the athletes know each other. No matter where you are on campus, everyone knows who you are. Everyone is very supportive of the teams and it’s just a great environment and in the city of Miami so you can’t go wrong.
When I was first introduced to Coach Larranaga this was while he was at George Mason and he told me he really liked my game. He had a lot of energy and passion for the game of basketball. He’s very experienced and you could tell he knows his stuff. It’s been great playing for him, because I’ve always wanted to. With the situation going on with my family, he was very supportive. He’s been with the same staff for a while now so they’re like a family so he told me if I came to Miami it would have been the same for me and they would welcome me and treat me like their son. It’s been everything he has said it would be so far.
At The U I’ve learned so much from Coach L and the rest of the coaching staff. They all have kids and they’re always there for me and I love being able to grow up around them. When I first got here I was very structured but once I got comfortable I showed my true colors. They showed me it’s time to grow up and this is more than just a game. In practice the other day I got a steal up front and I thought the play was over, so I took the ball to the other end and tossed up a silly shot. Coach got on me about never stopping the play and finishing the shot. I’ve learned a lot.
One thing everyone should know about UM hoops is we’re really athletic and we’re going to be a very good defensive team this year. Everyone who plays us should know we’re going to be high in defensive stats and we’ll make you earn every bucket.
I secretly wish I could sing better. I sing in the car and around my teammates. I’m always dancing but Malcolm, Durand, Bishop, and Julian are the biggest dancers on the team.