Smesko, Eagles Sign a Pair to National Letters of Intent
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Karl Smesko has announced the signings of a pair of student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Shayla Ball (Hillsboro, Ore./Hillsboro HS/Clackamas CC) and Anthoula “Anthi” Chatzigiakoumi (Athens, Greece) will join the Eagle program for the 2011-12 season.

“Both Anthi and Shayla are very versatile players,” said Smesko. “They are very skilled and can shoot and go to the basket. Both of them can guard multiple positions and will fit in very well with our style of play.”

Ball comes to FGCU after starring at Clackamas College (Oregon City, Ore.), which is in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges. Ball led the Cougars to back-to-back region championships and was named Southern Region MVP after averaging 21.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.6 steals, and 3.1 assists per game during the 2010-11 regular season. The 5’11 guard, shot 48.2 percent from the floor and 43.1 percent from three-point range, while scoring 896 points and grabbing 478 rebounds in two years Clackamas CC. She recorded 19 double doubles as a sophomore and ranked in the top 3 for the entire NWAACC in points, rebounds, and steals.

Chatzigiakoumi, a native of Athens, Greece, will join the Eagles after having a successful amateur career in Greece. Last year at the U-18 European Championships she ranked second on the team with 13.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 29.3 minutes for Greece. The 6’1 forward, who ranked second in three-point field goals made per game (2.4) among all players at the U-18 European Championships, had solid games against Portugal (19 pts., 8 reb.), Denmark (20 pts., 8 reb.) and Belarus (25 pts., 6 reb.) en route to leading Greece to a third place finish in Division B.

The Blue and Green finished the 2010-11 season with a 28-4 overall record (17-3 A-Sun) and secured the program’s second Atlantic Sun regular season championship and fourth consecutive WNIT automatic bid. FGCU ended their four-year Division I transition period with four automatic bids to the WNIT, two Atlantic Sun regular season crowns and an overall record of 100-25.