Shane Basen insists that he’s never been the most talented player on the baseball field or the smartest student in his college classes. Proper preparation, Basen says, is the key to performing well in both arenas.
For four years, baseball and academics was a winning combination for the former Charlotte 49ers infielder. Last week, Basen was rewarded for his achievements when he was named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, or CoSIDA.
Last month, Basen’s tenure as a UNC Charlotte undergraduate and baseball player came to an end. He graduated with a degree in accounting and finance and played his last game when the 49ers lost in the championship round of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
“I’ve been doing this (coaching college baseball) for about 30 years now,” said Charlotte head coach Loren Hibbs. “I have been blessed to have coached a lot of good players and a lot of good people, and I’d just about put Shane at the top of the list.”
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Basen is just the second player in program history to be named either a first or second team All-American in back-to-back seasons. He earned second team honors in 2012. Steve Wagoner was a second team member in 1987 and 1988.
Basen will continue to study at UNCC. In the fall semester, he will begin his pursuit of a master’s degree in accounting. He hopes to become a certified public accountant.
Basen can be proud of the statistics he compiled this season. He finished second in the A-10 in runs batted in (49 appropriately enough), third with 45 runs, and sixth in hits with 75.
With one more victory this season, Charlotte would have won the A-10 Conference tournament, which it hosted in late May. The 49ers’ final win of the 2013 season was a memorable one for Basen, however.
On May 24, his birthday, Charlotte defeated Xavier 12-3 with the help of Basen’s only grand slam of his career. Out of his eight career homers, the grand slam was the only one he ever hit at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium.
Over his four-year career, Basen ranks fifth in program history in triples (11), eighth in defensive assists (494), and 11th in games started (198). He says his fondest moment is the 49ers reaching the NCAA tournament in 2011 and playing regional games at Tempe, Ariz.
Basen’s academic numbers were just as impressive. He made the Chancellor’s List in all eight of his semesters and earned an A in every class except one to compile a 3.97 GPA.
“I’m not the brightest kid,” said Basen. “I’m really competitive. Even off the field I want to do the best I can. A couple of my teammates – Corbin Shive and Jordan Hudson – were in a lot of my classes. It’s been a good core study group. They’ve helped me; I’ve helped them. There have been a lot of long nights up studying. But it’s been worth it.”
As a student at Marvin Ridge High, the Waxhaw native registered a 4.62 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. Basen says his parents, Bruce and Debbie Basen (a kindergarten teacher), instilled in him that school work came first.
This summer, Basen will work an internship with the Charlotte accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche. As he begins his graduate studies in the fall, Basen will be able to use the postgraduate scholarship he earned from the Atlantic 10. He will also work as a graduate assistant in the accounting department.
Basen’s playing days are likely finished. After Charlotte’s loss to Saint Louis in the A-10 tournament finale, Hibbs asked Basen if he would be interested in playing minor league baseball if a team inquired about him.
“He didn’t want to answer the question,” said Hibbs. “I don’t think it’s that he didn’t want to play. … There are a lot of things in place for him, (like) getting a graduate degree. I think he’s done with baseball and he’s OK with that – that he’s given everything he can give.”