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Freshman Shay Ciezki Showcasing A Glimpse Of Lady Lions’ Future

The future of Penn State women’s basketball is here, folks.

True freshman Shay Ciezki is reaching for the helm of the Lady Lions’ offense as one of the leaders of the 7-0 team.

Ciezki has started six of the Lady Lions’ seven games, all but the season opener. She ranks third on the team in minutes played. Most importantly, she ranks third on the team in points (66), first in three-pointers made (10), and fourth on the team in steals (10).

Plenty of Ciezki’s rapid ascent can be credited to head coach Carolyn Kieger, who said that she began preparing the freshman as a role player from Ciezki’s first day at Penn State.

“We’ve been really hard on her from the moment she got on campus because we knew we were going to utilize her,” Kieger said. “We’ve been really challenging her from the moment we were doing summer workouts until now, and she’s taken it. She’s grown leaps and bounds since her first workout here, and she wants to be great, and she wants to do whatever it takes for Penn State to win.”

Kieger’s challenges have paid off. Game-to-game, it’s easy to see Ciezki’s improvement. After starting the season off with a nine-minute cameo against Norfolk State and scoring one point, she played 36 minutes and dropped 16 points against Toledo on November 26.

Ciezki enjoys the challenges that come with playing ball in college. While the Lancaster, New York, native knows she’s still developing, she’s excited by the progress.

“I think it just started in the summer,” Ciezki said. “Coach Kieger came in and told me that she wanted a floor general to command and direct, and I’ve been working on that every day. To see it keep growing every day is pretty cool, and I’m going to continue to work on it.”

Still, just a freshman, Ciezki’s consistency has yet to truly flourish. Despite dropping a combined 34 points against Syracuse on November 21 and Toledo on November 25, she only made one basket against Fresno State on November 26.

All the same, it’s hard to imagine that Ciezki won’t bounce back with another big game soon. Kieger has been impressed with Ciezki since the beginning of the year, a sentiment that hasn’t changed. After Ciezki’s first start of the season against Fairfield, the head coach was already pleased with what the freshman was putting together.

Ciezki only shot 30% from the field and went 1-for-7 from the three-point line, but Kieger was still impressed.

“She’s a gym rat, and she really wants to be good,” Kieger said.

Discounting Ciekzi’s performance against Fresno State, she’s shot just under 50% from the field since that Fairfield game while knocking down 42.9% of her three-point attempts.

Records are far from Ciezki’s radar still, both given her age and mentality. Throughout the season, it’s been clear that her goal is the success of the Lady Lions, not herself.

However, as long as she keeps progressing, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the young freshman from New York end up near the top of the all-time scoring list for the Lady Lions by the time she leaves Happy Valley. Until then, Kieger and the team will be happy for Ciezki’s progress, day by day and game by game.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a sophomore journalism major at Penn State. He enjoys yelling into the Twitter void over various sports items that don't really matter. If you ever want to meet him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Find (and disagree with him) on Twitter (Joe_Lister21) or by email ([email protected])

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