Athletics Alumni Spotlight

Shanice Barnes, Women's Basketball


Shanice Barnes was a member of Mercer’s women’s basketball team in 2017-2018.  Barnes helped lead the Vikings to their best season since 2010-2011. Barnes finished in the top 50 in the nation in blocks with 37 in 25 games and in rebounds per game, averaging 10.0 per game.  Barnes graduated in the Fall of 2017 with an Associates in Criminal Justice.  Barnes is currently serving as an EMT for the Atlantic Health System in Morristown, New Jersey.

Barnes had an unconventional route to both Mercer County Community College and becoming an EMT.  Barnes initially began college in Oklahoma but missed being so far from home and decided to transfer to Mercer.  “I originally went to school in Oklahoma and didn’t like being so far from home. I moved back home and decided to go to the community college nearest to me. And knowing what I know now, I definitely think it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

Barnes began a career in law enforcement but when the pandemic hit she decided to pursue a different profession.  “I’ve always known I wanted to be in a career where I would be able to help people. Originally I wanted to be a police officer, but living through the pandemic and seeing the extreme need for healthcare workers in all departments I decided to move toward prehospital care.” 

Barnes has enjoyed the change in careers, especially the unpredictability of the job.  ”What I like most about my job is not knowing what kind of day I will have beforehand. I could have any type of call, ranging from a very serious one such as a cardiac arrest or respiratory failure to someone breaking a toe. I also like interacting with patients of all ages and genders.”

Another thing that Barnes enjoys about being an EMT is being part of a team, much like she was while playing basketball.  “Playing basketball taught me about specific roles and how to focus on my tasks. Being an EMT, you’re literally apart of a team. Each individual has a role, just like you would on the basketball court. My role on a scene is to find out what’s wrong with a patient, determine what kind of interventions I would be able to provide, and figure out if we would need additional assistance from Paramedics or Medical Control. “

While it was hard for Barnes to pick one specific memory from her time playing basketball at Mercer, one of her favorite memories is traveling to Rhode Island for a tournament. “Having the chance to spend an entire weekend together was a lot of fun. The weekend was filled with lots of laughs, which I won’t forget.”

Another thing Barnes won’t forget from her time at Mercer was time management, which she is constantly using in her work as an EMT. “At work there are times where we need to move quickly and efficiently while handling multiple things with a patient.  My classes, coaches and professors helped me to see the importance of time management which has helped me with my job now.”

While it may not have been the school and career she initially started with Barnes is glad she was able to find a second home at Mercer and a new job she loves.  Just as Barnes had to make many adjustments while on the basketball court for the Vikings, she is continuing to find her way in the medical field as an EMT.