Now coaching, Shank was one of Shepherd’s best
SHEPHERDSTOWN — “Pond Bank, Pennsylvania.”
How Shepherd men’s basketball public address announcer Paddy Alter loved to bring out Rams’ forward Danley Shank to the starting lineup. “A senior from Pond Bank, Pennsylvania . . . Danley Shank,” Alter would draw in the crowd with his lengthy introduction.
Pond Bank is a village of few people and fewer houses that sends its residents to Chambersburg High School.
And in the case of fast-rising Danley Shank from Chambersburg High, send him on to Shepherd University to play four years of basketball for the Rams (from 2002-2003 through 2006-2007).
Shank seemed to improve by leaps and bounds, from his junior season at Chambersburg through his senior year. He was on the crowded junior varsity team as a junior, and then led the varsity in scoring as a senior. After averaging about 17 points a game, Shank was named to the Mid-Penn Conference first team.
While at Chambersburg, Shank lettered in basketball, volleyball and track and field.
Nothing extraordinary was expected of the 6-foot-5, 180-pound Shank when he reported to Shepherd practices in October at the beginning of his freshman year.
However, the lithe forward soon began to open eyes and draw compliments with his scoring and the manner in which he played the game.
Shank was as quiet and well-mannered as he was effective.
By the time he completed his senior year for the Rams, who were stationed in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at the time, Shank had scored 1,560 points, claimed 510 rebounds and been selected to the All-WVIAC first-team in his senior year. His last accolades gave him a three-year run of All-WVIAC honors.
Throughout his senior season (2006-07), Shank led the nation in free throw shooting with a 94 percent success rate. In the last several weeks of that season he missed enough free throws to drop his overall success rate to 90.5 percent, good for third-best in the country.
Shank’s demeanor on the floor combined with his sportsmanship earned him the respect of the game officials who worked the Shepherd games. That group honored him with the Sparky Adams Heart and Hustle Award for the 2006-2007 season.
Now 36-years-old, Shank has become the head varsity boys basketball coach at Shalom Christian Academy, a private school in Chambersburg.
His collection of statistics gained at Shepherd were enough to get him voted into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
And he’s the only player from “Pond Bank, Pennsylvania” to ever join the elite ranks of the best athletes Shepherd has ever produced.