Former Lady Raider star basketball and volleyball player Lainey Gosnell (Class of 2017) made an immediate impact on the Habersham Central basketball program. She showed so much promise back in ninth grade, that she was essentially starting games from that season on to her senior year (barring time she was injured). That led to Gosnell joining rarefied air as a 2,000-point scorer, shattering the school record and becoming one of the state’s all-time best.
She’s already looking at making a similar impact on the Appalachian State program, as she has logged three starts and ten games overall, playing over 21 minutes per game as a true freshman.
Gosnell hasn’t just been participating, she’s shown the signs we’ve all seen of her since a young girl at Habersham Central. After getting her feet wet in App State’s November 10 season opener against Georgia Tech, Gosnell has continued to press for more playing time. That night, she scored her first basket (a three-pointer) and hit a couple free throws for five points and three rebounds in 17 minutes of play.
“Playing [Tech] was such a surreal experience,” says Gosnell. “Through the week we were preparing for them, all I could think about was how only a year ago I was watching Appalachian and Georgia Tech compete as a [high school] senior. Now I’m going to be out there. It was a great experience and we took a lot of things from that game to grow from.”
With the move from high school basketball to Division-I basketball comes a huge learning curve that doesn’t come easily for anyone, even Gosnell.
“I think the learning curve has been one of the biggest adjustments due to the speed of the game and all of the terminology used at this level,” explains Gosnell. “It gets better and easier everyday I have learned it; it’s just part of being a freshman.”
While playing early in high school as a freshman is a huge deal, it’s even more impressive at the collegiate level.
“I am very blessed to get an opportunity to play so much right away,” adds Gosnell. “Me along with our other freshman have had to grow up fast and work together to grow due to our injuries on the team.”
Shortly after playing around 17-20 minutes per game, Gosnell found herself starting in three straight against Davidson, NC A&T and Charleston in late November. She rewarded the Lady Mountaineers immediately in the Davidson game, playing 34 minutes while dropping a career high 20 pts to go with 9 rebounds and an assist, nearly notching her first double-double.
“The week we spent preparing against Davidson, I had been getting more comfortable in practice and was feeling good about to upcoming game,” says Gosnell. “I was able to get in at the 3 and 4 and my teammates set me up for some big 3s.”
To be exact, Gosnell connected on four long range buckets as part of her big night. She has reached double-figures two other times with 12 points against UT Arlington and 11 against ULM.
For the season, Gosnell is averaging 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds, all while shooting 28% overall from the floor and 28% from beyond the arc. Those numbers are sure to continue to rise as she continues to grow within the App State program.
“It has been so much fun competing at this level and playing with my teammates,” adds Gosnell. “We have a lot of growing to do, but we have lots of talent and I’m excited to see what we can do.”