Lady Hornets’ Fraley finds new home at Shwanee St.

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ All-District guard Kelsey Fraley signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball for the Shawnee State University Bears on Friday. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, father J.D. Fraley, Kelsey and mother Alison Parker; back row from left to right, Shawnee State head coach DeWayne Burroughs and Coal Grove Lady Hornets’ head coach Nick Miller. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photo for The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

COAL GROVE — As Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz movie, “There’s no place like home.”

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It’s not exactly home, but it’s pretty close as far as Kelsey Fraley is concerned and she will make Shawnee State her new home after signing a letter-of-intent to play basketball for the Bears.

Coal Grove’s Kelsey Fraley

Fraley spoke with other schools including Kentucky Christian, Ohio Christian and  Alice Lloyd, but she said Shawnee State was more attractive for her.

“This one feels like the most like home because it’s close and I can drive whenever I need to get home. It just felt like the best,” said Fraley.

The 5-foot-8 senior averaged 11.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.8 steals a game while shooting 68 percent from the foul line.

She was a third team selection for the Associated Press prep sports writers Southeast All-District team and was a second team pick for the District 13 Basketball Coaches Association.

While Fraley has some solid offensive numbers, she takes more pride in her defense and she hopes to utilize that with the Bears.

“I’m a defensive girl. I don’t really care about scoring as much as I care about getting that steal and setting up my teammate,” said Fraley who is expected to play the two guard position.

“I told them that’s primarily what I can do. They don’t want me to play the one. They think I’ll be a good two (guard). There’s a lot of people from other places and I’ll learn a lot from other people because there’s a lot of people above me. The coach is really good and it’s a really good program. I just plan on being a role player for them. Wherever they need me I’ll come off the bench and just play as hard as I can and hustle.”

Coal Grove head coach Nick Miller is very familiar with the Shawnee State program. Lady Hornets’ assistant coach and his daughter Hannah Miller played for Shawnee State and scored more than 1,000 points in her career. He said Fraley will be an asset to the program.

“Kelsey has improved so much from her junior high days to her senior year. In junior high, she was running all over, out of control. But in high school she learned how to focus that energy and played with good poise and tempo. She still played hard and aggressive,” said Lady Hornets’ coach Nick Miller.

“I think she’ll do fine. Sometimes it takes an adjustment period. (Shawnee State) recruited  three or four girls and I think Kelsey will be a good fit for them.”

Miller also likes the fact that coach DeWayne Burrough has looked around the area for talent and not just in other areas.

“I was just talking to the coach for Shawnee State that I liked the fact he is recruiting local girls.  I think that’s going to help in a lot of ways. I think the crowd support. I think that will help in a lot of ways. People can come and watch a kid who they watched in high school,” said Miller.

Fraley began playing basketball when she was in the third grade, but she also played volleyball and runs track. She enjoys all the sports but only one stands above the rest.

“Definitely basketball,” she said with a laugh. “When I’m playing basketball, nothing else matters.

“I kind of started late. I only started because everyone told me I needed to play because I was really tall. And then I stopped growing and became a guard.

“I play volleyball just for fun. It doesn’t really help me in basketball, but track keeps me in shape and keeps my agility up and things like that.”

Fraley has set some simple but important goals as she sets her sights on a new chapter in her life.

“I just want to keep my studies up, do the best I can in basketball,” said Fraley. “I’ve practice with them The main difference is the length of the practices. It’s a lot longer and much more about hustle, a fast pace instead of going over plays and stuff. But that’ll probably change when we get into the season. Right now it’s just like open gym. It’f fun. It’s hard, but it’s fun.”

Fraley plans to obtain a physical therapist assistant degree.

“I just want to do that because it keeps you involved in sports and keeps you active,” said Fraley.