Red Hawks’ Lester signs with UNC-Pembroke

Red Hawks’ Lester signs with UNC-Pembroke

HICKORY, N.C. — While it's early in her sophomore basketball season at Catawba Valley Community College, Shaniya Lester has already cemented her future.

The 5-foot-6 Red Hawks guard signed on Wednesday to further her athletic career at UNC Pembroke after she graduates from CVCC this spring.

"I feel like I made a great decision to further my college career at UNC Pembroke," Lester said. "I chose UNCP based on family, atmosphere, education and athletics because it is like CVCC. I'm going higher from here. I still have unfinished business here at Catawba Valley Community College. My education, team and coach are important to me so I want to finish strong."

During her freshman season at CVCC, Lester — a former North Mecklenburg High School standout and Charlotte, N.C. native — played in 29 games (19 in conference) and started in 25 of those contests.

She averaged 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game as a freshman for the Red Hawks, leading them to a 21-8 overall record and 14-6 mark in conference games.

In two games so far this season, Lester is leading CVCC in three offensive categories — points per game (21.0), 3-point field goal percentage (40.0) and steals per game (5.0).

"Shaniya Lester has worked hard academically and athletically for the past year and a half, and it has paid off," said CVCC head women's basketball coach Tisha England. "When she chose CVCC over Louisburg, she liked the honesty and connection we had as player to coach. I never promise my players anything, but they will run and be a better student-athlete. She trusted me, and the process and the results have been good. It has been a pleasure coaching Shaniya along with helping her with life skills and life lesson. I am confident that she will impact UNC Pembroke in a positive way in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. Much success to her as she continues this journey and move forward to a new journey."

Lester is the 13th Red Hawk women's basketball player to sign with a four-year school under England, joining Aliyah Woods (Greensboro College), Jala Daniels (Montreal College), Ieshia Love (UNC Pembroke), Ty'Ais Cooper (Elizabeth City State), Keyona Hicks (Greensboro College), Takeyra Thomas (Elizabeth City State), Shakira Allen (Mars Hill), T'Shea Glenn (Warren Wilson), Allie Church (Warren Wilson), Maggie Stewart (Queens), Anika Jones (Johnson C. Smith) and Kadesha Gibbs (Georga College & State University).

"I want to thank coach England for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to be a better student-athlete and person," Lester said. "I want to thank my teammates for the long-lasting memories and friendship and thank all of my family for their love and support. I look forward to making my family and CVCC family proud."