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In the Panther Spotlight: Deshawn Cann ’19

Basketball guard emerges as the team’s top scorer and a top offensive player in the Skyline Conference.

Every week, the Sports Information Department at Purchase will select a new student-athlete, coach/staff or event to highlight in our “In the Panther Spotlight” feature … today’s feature: Men’s Basketball Ace Deshawn Cann ’19.

Deshawn Cann’s game is an entertaining and effective blend of raw talent and hard work.

The Purchase College junior guard returned to the starting lineup in a big way this season, emerging as the team’s top scorer and a top offensive player in the Skyline Conference.

Hailing from Queens, NY, Cann played ball at Thomas Edison H.S. before honing his skills at Jefferson Community College in the fall of 2015. He then joined the Panthers for his sophomore year and has been an integral part of Purchase’s success over the past two seasons.

“My former coach at Jefferson encouraged me to continue playing basketball and put me in contact with Coach Kyle Martin,” Cann said.
In the 2016-17 season, Cann averaged a team high 3.9 steals per game and was second in rebounds (6.8) and points per game (13.4), both overall and in conference.
Cann has now become more than just a defensive presence. As a junior, he has developed into a floor leader and transformed into one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the Skyline. He put up 17 points in PC’s season opener then unleashed a 22-point effort in a thrilling win against Mount Saint Mary College on Jan. 25.
Cann has been one of the keys to PC’s success this season and continues to take the Panthers to new heights. New heights that include 13 wins (8 SKY) to date and a program-first appearance at the No. 1 play spot on ESPN SportsCenter.

A dramatic, upending score by teammate Michael Soffer that was brought together by a perfectly placed baseline inbound pass from Cann earned the Panthers the SportsCenter recognition. As the play replayed over and over across the country on the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” Soffer—the man that sunk the miraculous 3-pointer at the buzzer that defeated No. 14 Wesleyan University—and Cann, the inbounded passer that found Soffer with six-tenths left down the other end of the floor (watch the video, courtesy of ESPN SportsCenter on Twitter), said the campus community can’t stop talking about the play.

“Nothing can top that experience,” added Cann. “Favorite Purchase moment by far.”

More on Cann’s Q & A session…

Q. What first got you interested in your sport/s? How long have you played?
A. My friends played basketball but I was more into football. They need people to play so I did and when I played I decided to play basketball for good. I started taking basketball seriously in 10th grade. 
Q. Major?
A. Liberal Studies

Q. Favorite class?
A. My favorite class would have to be Fundamentals of Leadership with Professor Rafael Gomez

Q. What is your favorite thing about Purchase? 
A. The support students give each other

Q. What is some of the best advice that your coach has given you? 
A. You can’t control the past or the future but you can control right here and right now. 
Q. What is the most difficult part about being a student-athlete?
A. One thing I can say is challenging about being a student-athlete is finding the time to stay on top of your work. 
Q. What are your life plans/goals post-graduation and how has Purchase prepared you for them??
A. After college I want to become a firefighter, and I have to say it was my head coach that got me thinking along that path. Becoming a firefighter is something I can see myself doing for a career.

—Stephanie Janasiewicz, Assistant SID