ODU’s former bench player becomes “best overall player”

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Four seniors on the Old Dominion University women’s basketball team will play their final regular season home game on Wednesday night against East Carolina. All four give new meaning to the phrase “they’ve come a long way.”

None of them are from Virginia, and two are from outside the United States. Guard Stephanie Gardner starred at Glassboro High School in New Jersey, played her first year of college ball over 1,100 miles away at the University of Miami, then finally transferred to Old Dominion.

Shakeva Richards is from Georgia, while Michelle Brandao calls Portugal home.

Becca Allison is a fifth-year guard from Scotland, and the leaps and bounds she’s grown as a player almost mirrors the trip she took across the Atlantic Ocean. “I mean she does it all,” said Head Coach Karen Barefoot, “She will get you points, rebounds, steals, take a charge, she’ll do whatever it takes.

Even with Junior forward Shae Kelly posting 17.6 points a game, Barefoot went as far as to call Allison her “best all around player this year.”

Allison averages 6.2 points and 2.4 rebounds a night, while shooting an average of 37.9 percent through 29 games and seven starts this season. Those numbers, however, do not reflect her days as a prep player in Scotland, when she earned a number of Most Valuable Player awards, and even a Player of the Year honor.

“Basketball isn’t huge in Scotland,” said Allison, “I knew, coming to America, it’s one of the biggest sports.

“So, I just did whatever I could to fit in.”

If you ask Coach Barefoot, she’ll say Allison has fit in just fine.




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