May 12, 2014
University of Minnesota head women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings today announced that 6-foot-1 forward Shae Kelley has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Golden Gophers. Kelley, a highly-recruited transfer from Old Dominion, is the first player signed during the Stollings tenure at Minnesota and chose the Gophers over Louisville, LSU and Michigan State, among others. She will be eligible to compete during the 2014-15 season.
“Shae is an ultra-athletic forward who will thrive in our up-tempo system,” Stollings said. “She can create plays in the open court with both her speed and intelligence, and her versatility will allow her to play both inside and out. She has an uncanny ability score in a multitude of ways. Shae is a special talent, a tremendous addition to our team and has the ability to make an immediate impact.”
Kelley recently earned her undergraduate degree in sociology from Old Dominion and will have one remaining year of eligibility as she pursues a master’s degree.
A native of Denver, Colo., Kelley was named to the 2014 All-Conference USA First Team and surpassed the 1,000-point career scoring mark in just her second year at ODU, becoming just the fifth Lady Monarch to do so. She averaged 17.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game and led the team in total points (605), rebounds (331), field goals made (225), free throws (151), blocked shots (42), steals (61), starts (34) and minutes per game (33.6). Kelley also ranked No. 17 nationally with 17 double-doubles, scored a career-high 30 points three times and was named to the 2014 VaSID All-State First Team.
“I am so excited to be welcomed into the Gopher family,” Kelley said. “I can’t wait to play in the Big Ten and to be awarded the opportunity to play for such an experienced staff. It is the year of the Maroon and Gold.”
Kelley’s 6.9 defensive rebounds per game ranked third in C-USA standings at the conclusion of her junior year, while her 1.8 steals per game and 1.2 blocks per game ranked 10th and 12th, respectively, in the conference. The forward was named MVP of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tournament early in the year and garnered C-USA Player of the Week honors for the first time in program history on Dec. 9.
In her first season at Old Dominion, Kelley was the only underclassman named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association Second Team and also earned a spot on the CAA All-Defensive Team after ranking in the top-10 in the league in points, rebounds, blocks, steals and field goal percentage. She led the team with 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while she paced the squad with a .497 field goal percentage, 73 steals and 36 blocked shots.
Prior to joining the Lady Monarch squad, Kelley played one season at Northwest Florida State where she earned Junior College All-America honors after averaging 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and finished the season ranked as the No. 9 overall junior college player and No. 3 at her position. She was also named the Panhandle Conference Freshman of the Year and garnered First Team All-Panhandle Conference accolades.
As a prep standout, Kelley was named Ms. Colorado Basketball by the Denver Post and led Denver East High School to the school’s first state championship as a senior.