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
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."