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An interview with Shane Van Boening | Dakota Life 25

This article is from the April 2023 edition of SDPB Magazine. See past issues HERE.

Interview by Bob Bosse, former Director of Television at SDPB

In 2014, Dakota Life featured Rapid City’s Shane Van Boening, widely considered to be one of the best pool players of all time.

Despite experiencing severe hearing loss since birth, Shane won the U.S. Open in 2007 and has gone on to win over one hundred professional pool titles. Known in the pool world as “the South Dakota Kid”, Shane is known for his attitude toward the sport, his behavior during matches and his stance against alcohol. We caught up with Shane during the World Pool Championships in Kielce, Poland, where he was busy defending his championship title.

SDPB: With all the accolades you have received and all the tournaments you have won, which are you most proud of and why?

Shane: the US open in 2007 is my first major tournament that I won. This is the event that I consider myself most proud of, along with the US Opens that I won in my career, 5-time US Open Champion.

SDPB: Do you see yourself as a role model? In what ways?

Shane: Yes, with my disability and ninety five percent hearing loss, I consider myself a role model. I can prove to the world, even with hearing loss, you can do anything you want in your life when you work hard, be dedicated, never give up and follow your dreams!

SDPB: What advice would you give to young people who want to become successful in their lives?

Shane: Work hard, don’t give up and most importantly, say no to drugs.

SDPB: You have traveled all over the world. What keeps you coming back to your home state of South Dakota?

Shane: South Dakota, home of Mt. Rushmore and Black hills and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Less populated cities compare to other big cities in the US. I’m just not really a big city person. Sioux Falls and Rapid city are actually peaceful. And there are some really great fishing spots in South Dakota.