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April 28, 2014

Humble guard earns Miss Show-Me Basketball

It doesn't take long visiting with the humble Carrie Shephard to see why any coach would want the humble young lady in their program. It doesn't take long watching the 5-foot-6 point guard from South Pemiscot (Steele) High School to see what any coach would want her leading her team.

Shephard was selected as Miss Show-Me Basketball by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association at their Academic All-State banquet on Sunday. On the court, Shephard earned back-to-back Class 2 Player of the Year honors awarded by the MBCA. As a junior she averaged 35 points per game, 9.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game.

She finished with more than 2,500 career points, although she saw her scoring dip to 26 points per game as a senior for the 18-6 Lady Bulldogs her assists increased to 12 per game. "The only thing I wanted to do was help my team win", commented Shephard. "I didn't care about accolades, how many points I scored, I only wanted to help my team win."

Shephard fielded offers from programs near and far including Duke, George Mason, Southeast Missouri State, St. Louis University, Southern Illinois University, and Missouri State. Ultimately it was a visit and offer from the University of Missouri that won Shephard over. She will play for the Tigers next season.

"Carrie is a very talented young lady," Missouri Women's head coach Robin Pingeton commented to the Standard Democrat. "She certainly makes up for her lack of height in her quickness, speed, court vision, heart and toughness. She has the ability to score in a variety of ways, she plays with great toughness on the defensive end and has a great understanding of the game. She will definitely add some much needed depth to our point guard position."

Shephard may be small in stature, but she is a leader both on and off the court. She has been the class president at South Pemiscot each year since seventh grade. Positive and upbeat, Shephard encourages her teammates and finds ways to help each be successful. "On our team, we are small, but we know our role", commented Shephard. "They know they can depend on me, matching basketball with my personality and my character, I always want to have fun, and if I'm helping my teammates we are winning and every one is having fun, that is what makes me happy."

Hard work has paid off for Shephard who pushes her self at workouts in Cape Girardeau, in her home gym, and in the community where she regularly competes with men of all ages. "My workouts became a lot more intense, everything became a lot more game like, when the time comes I want to be able to make the play for my team", commented Shephard.

A small town girl, Shephard is grounded with a firm foundation that will serve her well as she enters the larger environment of Division I athletes in the Southeastern Conference. "My mom is always encouraging me", added Shephard "The entire community is supportive, I feel like I'm the "community child", because the entire community raised me. My mom started me and pushed me out there and everyone took care of me, I have my entire community and my coaches to thank."



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