FORT MYERS, Fla. – With one week remaining before the 2013-14 season begins, the FGCU women’s basketball team learned Friday that sophomore transfer Kaneisha Atwater (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Westwood High School) has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA.
After transferring from VCU this summer, Atwater was originally required to sit out for one year due to the NCAA transfer rules for basketball. Because of special circumstances, FGCU and Atwater filed for a waiver from the NCAA in hopes that the guard could join the team for the 2013-14 season.
Although the NCAA initially denied Atwater’s waiver, FGCU compliance coordinator Alex Masse and head coach Karl Smesko filed an appeal two weeks ago. The appeal included additional information and previous NCAA circumstances that are similar to Atwater’s.
“I am excited for Kaneisha,” stated Smesko. “Her teammates are excited for her as well. Kaneisha is just trying to do the right thing and I am extremely happy the NCAA examined her special circumstances and ruled in her favor.”
Atwater, a former high school Parade All-American at Fort Pierce High School, transferred from VCU this summer to be closer to her young son and her family.
While at VCU, Atwater played in all 30 games for the Rams with 12 starts. She recorded 6.2 points per game with 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in an average of 18.3 minutes per contest.
Atwater will bring her speed, energy and leadership qualities to an already successful Eagle team.
After learning of her eligibility on Friday evening, Atwater played in an exhibition game on Saturday at Alico Arena. She tallied 16 points on 6-of-8 field goals with two 3-pointers, four assists and three steals to help the Eagles to a convincing win.
With their sights set on their 12th 20-plus win season, Atwater and the Eagles will begin the 2013-14 campaign on Friday, Nov. 8 at FIU.
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2013-14 women’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.