Kansas State University

Lehning hired as K-State assistant

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 on Deb Patterson's staff Wednesday. Lehning replaces Andria Jones, who stepped down in October.

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.

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 averaged 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 get 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 800 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."