Lexie Gilliland signed a letter of intent to play basketball at KCU.  

On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Lexie Gilliland, a Clay senior, signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Coach Ron Arnett and the Kentucky Christian Univeristy Knights (Grayson, KY).  KCU athletic programs play in the NCCAA (National Collegiate Christian Athletic Association) Division II & NAIA.  Lexie is the daughter of Craig and Melanie Gilliland of Rosemount.

She follows Katie Redding to Grayson, Kentucky, who signed with the Knights last year.



Portsmouth Daily Times:  "Clay's Gilliland Signs on with Kentucky Christian"

Lexie Gilliland turned 18 years old on Wednesday, but her birthday celebration went beyond cake and ice cream. The Clay senior gave herself a gift and signed a letter of intent to play college basketball for Kentucky Christian University.

“A lot of stress is gone, definitely,” Gilliland said.

The daughter of former Valley and Shawnee State standout Craig Gilliland, basketball has always been Lexie Gilliland’s first love. But after four stellar years on the volleyball court, including a first team All-SOC performance in 2014, she had a decision to make.

“It was a hard choice, but basketball has always been my favorite,” she said. “The past couple of years I’ve grown to enjoy volleyball more and more, but basketball has always been my favorite.”

On the basketball court, Gilliland was named first team All-District and special mention All-Ohio in 2014-15 while averaging 18.5 points and 14.6 rebounds per game. She helped lead the Panthers to an appearance in the sectional finals and scored her 1,000th career point in a Feb. 29 game against Southeastern.

After her senior season game to an end, Gilliland considered college offers from Andrews University in Michigan and Marietta College. But after careful consideration, the choice was an easy one.

“I always had my heart set on KCU,” she said. “It’s close to home, they’re a Christian school and I like what they do.”

Kentucky Christian head coach Ron Arnett is ecstatic to have Gilliland aboard.

“She’s got really good hands and great feet,” he said. “Her character is outstanding, she has a great family. She’s a good student, which is great, because academically our school is challenging.”

Gilliland will play on the wing for a young KCU squad that finished the season strong in 2014-15. The Knights finished with an 11-20 overall record, but rallied to take home fourth place in the NCCAA Division II tournament. Gilliland follows former teammate and Clay alumnae Katie Redding, who just completed her freshman season with the Knights.

Knowing she’ll need to adjust her skills to the college game, Gilliland expects a long offseason of weight lifting and training. She hopes to add more muscle to her 5-10 frame in order to transition to a more physical game.

“I actually put it in my yearbook: My future goal is gain 15 pounds,” she said.

After graduating as one of the leading scorers in school history, Gilliland hopes she has left her mark on her younger teammates and left a legacy of leadership. She also hopes her perseverance through exercise-induced asthma helps inspire future Panthers for years to come.

“With my health and the obstacles that I’ve overcome, (I would tell my teammates) just don’t give up,” she said “…just don’t stop. It’s totally worth it.”

Hider, Alex.  "Clay's Gilliland Signs on with Kentucky Christian." portsmouth-dailytimes.com. 25 Mar 2015. 26 March 2015 <http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/news/sports/152560345/Gilliland-signs-with-KCU>. 


Reach Alex Hider at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931 or on Twitter @PDTSportsWriter

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