MANHATTAN — Shalee Lehning helped the Kansas State women's basketball team win a Big 12 championship as a player. Now she will try to do the same as an assistant coach.
Lehning, who graduated last year, was hired to coach Deb Patterson's staff today. Lehning replaces Andria Jones, who stepped down in October.
"Shalee Lehning is a tremendous addition to our staff," Patterson said in a statement. "Like Andria Jones, before her, she is a KSU women's basketball program alum who epitomizes the excellence of character and achievement, the passion, intensity and loyalty that the Kansas State women's basketball program is known for."
Lehning is a member of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream and will continue to play for the team while assisting the Wildcats. She is the second assistant coach in the Patterson era to coach and play in the WNBA at the same time.
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With Lehning's help, Atlanta secured a franchise-record 18 wins last season after winning four in its debut season of 2008. The 14-win improvement is the second-biggest turnaround in WNBA history.
The Sublette native led the Dream in assists, averaging 3.8. She also scored 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds.
Lehning finished her K-State career ranked first in school history and second in Big 12 history for assists with 800. She was the first player in Big 12 history to record 1,000 career points, 900 career rebounds and 800 career assists.
"I am extremely excited for this unbelievable opportunity to coach at Kansas State University," Lehning said in a statement. "As a former player at K-State, I take great pride in this university and the women's basketball program. I have the utmost respect for Coach Patterson, her coaching staff and this program. I am honored to have the chance to help take our program to new heights."