UK Women's Basketball

Watch: Kentucky players go wild as walk-on gets a scholarship

Wildcats thrilled to see walk-on teammate get scholarship

LaShae Halsel, who will be a senior this season on the University of Kentucky women's basketball team, received a pleasant surprise from head coach Matthew Mitchell on Monday afternoon.
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LaShae Halsel, who will be a senior this season on the University of Kentucky women's basketball team, received a pleasant surprise from head coach Matthew Mitchell on Monday afternoon.

University of Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell gathered his team for a brief announcement Monday afternoon.

Before Mitchell could get the words out of his mouth, pandemonium broke loose.

Mitchell told his team that only one player on the roster, senior-to-be LaShae Halsel, was not on scholarship.

Mitchell changed Halsel's status from walk-on to scholarship player with his announcement. Halsel looked caught by surprise, and her teammates could not have been more thrilled.

"This is for the kids that get told they can’t do something," Halsel said in a Twitter post. "Keep working hard and keep chasing that dream because it doesn’t go unnoticed. I love my sisters and coaches!"

Halsel, a 6-foot forward from Bowling Green, joined the Wildcats as a walk-on in October 2016 after several defections left Kentucky with a short roster. She has played two seasons at UK.

In 2017-18, Halsel appeared in 10 games for a total of 24 minutes, contributing eight points, three rebounds and two assists. As a sophomore, she saw action in seven games.

In high school, Halsel was a five-year starter at Warren Central. She also lettered multiple seasons in track and field.

"Thank you for everything you've done," Mitchell told Halsel after his announcement and a hug. "We love you. ... You earned it."

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