Chipola College transfer Shaela Gardner joins McNeese women’s hoops squad

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LAKE CHARLES — McNeese head women’s basketball coach Kacie Cryer has added Chipola College (FL.) transfer Shaela Gardner to her 2019-20 roster.

“We are thrilled to add our final piece to the puzzle with the addition of Shaela to our Cowgirl Basketball family,” Cryer said. “Shaela comes from a winning JUCO program where she has competed with and against some of the best players in the country. Adding her winning mentality, experience, length, versatility and ability to shoot the three to our strong roster is a tremendous addition. Shaela not only excels on the court, but also in the classroom, where she will be studying to be an anesthesiologist. We are excited to welcome Shaela to our family.”

Gardner, a 5-10 guard from Memphis, Tennessee, comes to McNeese after helping Chipola College post a 22-6 record and a final ranking of No. 15 in the nation during her sophomore season. She averaged 4.6 points per game, a 37.0 three-point field goal percent and shot 85 percent from the free throw line.

Shaela is not only a great player, but an even better person,” said Chipola College head coach Greg Franklin. “She earned the opportunity to play at the D1 level and I am very proud that she gets to represent Chipola at McNeese next year. She’s a scholar athlete with a high basketball IQ who will be able to stretch the floor and shoot the three.”

In addition to her work on the court, Shaela excelled in the classroom as well. She was named to the Dean’s List all four semesters while at Chipola, three of them with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Gardener was named to the Panhandle Conference All-Academic Team in 2018 and 2019, the NJCAA All-Academic first team in 2018 and second team in 2019, as well as the Chipola College Female Scholar Athlete Award this year.

“Just when I thought I wasn’t going to pick up a ball again, God had a better plan for me than I had for myself,” said Gardner. “I would like to thank McNeese, the coaching staff, my future teammates, and the community for giving me the opportunity to continue my academic and athletic career with blue and yellow across my chest. I am excited for what my next two years have to offer; I know they will be beyond special. There’s no other place I’d rather be!”

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