CHARLESTON, S.C. - Shauntavia Dobson came to Charleston Southern four years ago and could never have imagined the impact the school would have on her as a person.
"When I first came to Charleston, I wasn't like how I am today," Dobson said. "As far as being happy or just being a nice person and caring for others. Coming here and being around my teammates, they brought something out of me that I never thought I had."
The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native is the lone senior on CSU's roster this season and she's a big reason why the Bucs have been so successful over the past three seasons. Head coach Fred Applin said that Dobson's ability to be a vocal leader on the court has greatly contributed to the team's overall success.
"She has grown since freshman year as far as the leadership part of the game," Applin commented. "She can help the young players and the newcomers about how we want to run our offense or how we want to do our defense."
As a senior, Dobson is averaging 7.0 points and 1.6 three-pointers per game. She currently ranks 13th all-time at CSU in three-pointers made (97). Dobson had a breakout performance at the FIU Thanksgiving Tournament with a season-high 17 points against Hartford and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Having a strong outing near her hometown and in front of her former high school coach meant the world to her.
"It felt really good to play in my hometown," Dobson said. "Receiving that award meant a lot to me. It was just a different feeling. I wish that I had that feeling every game, but receiving that award gave me more confidence in what I can do and made me realize who I am today and how far I've come."
Dobson admitted that things weren't always great for her at CSU. She said that she had a difficult time getting used to college and adjusting to the daily life. However, she stuck with it and now is thankful that she did.
"From my freshman year, it was really bad," Dobson said. "As the years kept going on and we added new people and new coaches, people were changing the program and it became more family-oriented. We started to build more chemistry and its been really good. I'm happier now then I was when I first came in."
Dobson has set a personal goal for herself this season of leading the team in assists and being among the Big South's leaders in assists per game. She's currently third at CSU with 2.0 assists per game and has seen her game rise to a new level following the FIU Tournament.
"Since that game, I'm starting to open my eyes," Dobson said. "Every time I'm dribbling, I'm looking who is open, so it gives me a lot more confidence as a point guard to look for more people and set them up in positions to score points."
A criminal justice major, Dobson said that she plans to pursue a career in law enforcement after graduation in May. It has been her goal even before basketball came into her life.
"I will be going into law enforcement," Dobson said. "I'm not sure what city or department yet, but I want to become a police officer. I've always just wanted to help people."
The senior has definitely come a long way since arriving on campus four years ago. Without a doubt, Dobson is leaving a lasting legacy at Charleston Southern.