Shane Reybold: The man behind the mask

Evan Edwards | Staff Writer

Crab cakes are cool and all, but for junior basketball player Shane Reybold, the beach seemed much cooler.

“Just like everybody else down here, I wanted to be at the beach,” Reybold said.

Hailing from Laurel, Maryland, the 6 foot 8 power forward has really come on strong as of late for the UNC Wilmington men’s basketball team.

Although he doesn’t exactly light up the stat sheet, Reybold has become a presence on the floor for the Seahawks. He brings an energy that goes unmatched, but not unnoticed. Reybold has caught Coach Buzz Peterson’s attention, earning several starts throughout the season, including one against ACC opponent Georgia Tech.

Not bad for a walk on.

Reybold may not be on scholarship, but don’t let that fool you. Shane averaged 17 points per game and nine rebounds per game his senior season at Reservoir High School. Those numbers earned him First-Team All-County and Team MVP honors. Reybold also participated in the Maryland-Pennsylvania All-Star Game. When he wasn’t playing basketball, Reybold was playing soccer, football, or lacrosse, lettering in each of those sports, as well.

This season, Reybold is averaging just two points and 2.2 rebounds per game. However, those numbers do him absolutely no justice.

Reybold is the guy that doesn’t fear his knees getting burned by the hardwood. He’s the guy that dives head-first into press row for the loose ball and embraces the opportunity to give his team a better chance to win.

“I just try to work hard, play aggressive, and focus on defense first,” Reybold said. “If the offense comes, it comes, but I just try to work hard whenever I’m out there. Loose balls, rebound, and box out – I find that if you do that stuff the offense will come to you.”

Minus the multi-colored hair and weird off-court behaviors, Shane Reybold is UNCW’s version of Dennis Rodman.

Another asset of Reybold’s game is his ability and desire to guard an opposing team’s best player. At 238 pounds, it’s safe to say Shane can hold his own in the paint. He’s able to throw his body around and wreak havoc upon opponent’s big men.

For Reybold, when the games come and it’s time to lock-down a player from the other team, that’s the easy part. Nine times out of 10 he is not going to face a better player than the one he sees every day in practice. That would be one of the toughest assignments in the entire country, first-team All-CAA player and UNCW’s new all-time leading rebounder, Keith Rendleman.

“Practice is usually pretty intense,” said Reybold. “I try to guard Keith as much as possible. If you’re guarding the best guy, it makes you better.”

Reybold admits that he tries to be aggressive with Rendleman and, in the process, prepare him for the big boys.

“I feel like I help Keith because he’s not used to playing the physical guys,” said Reybold. “I kind of push him around a little. He doesn’t like it. He jokes around with me that he hates when I guard him, but it’s good for both of us I think.”

With Reybold’s bruising style of play, sometimes his body is forced to pay a toll. Throwing elbows is something he is normally on the distribution side of, but sometimes people are in the wrong place at the wrong time, hence the identifiable mask he wears every contest.

“I broke my nose towards the end of the season last year,” he said. “I missed almost the rest of the season but I came back for the conference tournament.”

To protect his nose and prevent further damage, Reybold wears a protective mask during practice and games.

“It’s been off and on but every couple months it will get hit and I’m not sure if I ever break it or not,” said Reybold. “To be honest, it’s mostly my mom. She keeps bugging me to put it back on. She always asks why I’m not wearing it, so I just put it back on.”

The fact of the matter is the facemask suits Reybold’s warrior like character on the court perfectly.

With a disappointing season soon coming to an end, Reybold is already looking ahead to next year.

“I’m looking to kind of step up, be a leader, and prepare to try and have a better season next year,” he said.

Next year, the Seahawks are eligible again to compete in the conference and NCAA tournaments. Because of that and guys like Shane Reybold, the future of UNCW basketball is getting brighter.