CHARLESTON, S.C. – With a capacity of over 13,000, the North Charleston Coliseum is plenty large enough to host Charleston Southern's graduation ceremony. That number wouldn't suffice, though, if everyone welcomed the amount of guests CSU women's basketball standout Shauntavia Dobson will this Saturday. Dobson, an effervescent 5-2 guard from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, will become the first person in her family to earn a college degree.
"To be honest, I couldn't even count how many there will be," Dobson laughed. "It's definitely easily more than 10, more than 20, more than 30….it'll be a very emotional day. It means a lot simply because I'm trying to set a bar for my family."
As the youngest of five siblings, Dobson came to CSU following a decorated career at Northeast High School in Broward County. She will leave seventh in program history in made three-pointers, and more importantly, with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. Dobson also completed minors in Psychology and Sociology.
"It will be a great moment getting that degree because when I was in high school, I knew I was gonna go to college but I didn't know where," Dobson said. "The fact that I expected to go to college and I actually made it happen, that means a lot. I was fully devoted and determined to make it happen and I did."
Dobson also made her senior year count on the court. The Bucs' sparkplug bounced back from a subpar junior season to average nearly eight points and two assists per game while shooting over 37 percent from three-point range.
"To be honest, sitting on the bench my junior year motivated me," Dobson said. "I felt like I had to prove to the coaching staff and also other teams that I can still be a factor. It made me come back stronger and helped me develop a different mindset."
Personality isn't lacking for Dobson, who cites a high-energy nature as her most positive attribute. It's one that will likely serve her well as she pursues a career in law enforcement.
"Some days I do think I'll miss basketball but now that it's over, I get to the start this new chapter that I always wanted to. Being a law enforcement officer is something that I've wanted to do since before basketball so I'm definitely gonna make it happen."
Dobson also credited CSU head coach Fred Applin and the Bucs' staff for helping her develop a servant's heart. Her relationships with them, as well as teammates and close friends Ke'Asia Jackson and Rachel Burns, make Dobson steadfast about the direction she hopes her life will continue to take.
"Wherever and however I can make an impact and serve the community is what I'm gonna do," Dobson continued. "I put people first. Loving people has always been my thing so I think it's the perfect field for me."