As a teenage basketball standout at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, Shannen Hogue had big goals. She earned an athletic scholarship to a Division I institution, but a knee injury hampered her hoop dreams. Eventually, she got a job and enrolled at John Jay College of Criminal Justice intent on a career in law enforcement. She was spotted playing pick-up, and the women’s basketball coach persuaded her to join the team. Her skills and competitive edge were outstanding, and John Jay had one of its best seasons in 2006-07.
Balancing work and school became too challenging, and she did not play another season, but basketball remains a passion. Eventually, Hogue earned her bachelor’s degree from John Jay and is now in her 10th year as a police officer with the Yonkers Police Department.
“Yonkers is my hometown, so I get to see people I grew up with and their kids and give back,” said Hogue. “I work in the community affairs division. We are responsible for a number of things…among them is youth crime, and we do community events. That, in addition to all of my work on patrol, really put me in a position to have a bird’s eye view of what some of the needs in the community are. A lot of it goes back to our youth.”
Last month, Hogue was honored by her high school, now known as Roosevelt Early College Studies, becoming the first African American woman, the first LGBTQ person and the youngest person on the school’s Wall of Fame. Her family, friends and colleagues, including the commissioner of the Yonkers PD, were in attendance. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano gave a proclamation, naming June 16, 2022, Shannen Hogue Day.
“Four of my high school teammates were there, which was incredible,” said Hogue. “It was much more emotional than I anticipated.”
Hogue and her brother, Douglas, a former football player, co-founded the Hogue Family Foundation. This week, the foundation is running its first annual all girls basketball camp, open to Yonkers residents 12-17.
“Having grown up here in Yonkers, I understand some of the stresses…and worries they have,” Hogue said. “They don’t have the proper resources in one way or another. We’re lacking positive mentors, people showing them that you can come from here. It doesn’t have to be the best circumstances, but you can still do good things.
“I want to let my story be part of encouragement and inspiration,” she added. “I don’t know what I would have done without basketball. It kept me involved in something that was positive.”