LOGAN — Only a handful of former Logan County athletes have ever played at the professional level.
Shayna Gore hopes to add her name to that list soon.
Gore, a Logan High School graduate, who just finished up her stellar career with the Marshall University women’s basketball team, is looking at all her options.
Recently passed over for a spot on the training roster of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings, Gore is looking east, way east, to Europe. Gore hopes to be signed in the next couple of weeks by one of the many women’s professional Euro League teams. She has signed on with a sports agent, Alicia Lopez, and hopes to be playing ball again soon at the next level.
If Gore is able to play professionally overseas, she would follow in the footsteps of another former Logan and Marshall basketball standout, Stevie Browning, who has played the last couple of seasons in the men’s Euro Leagues in Turkey, Hungary and Greece.
“It’s been a dream of mine, and I promise you, I’m not going to stop until I reach it,” said Gore during a break Wednesday in her inaugural Shayna Gore Basketball Camp at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena. “I’m staying in the gym and working out. I’ll find out in two weeks where I’m going.”
Gore said she hopes to play pro ball in Italy, Spain, France or Russia but would be willing to listen to any offers from teams in other countries.
“I’m still waiting for my time to sign and my agent told me that it would be a couple more weeks until I find out where I’m going,” she said. “She asked me what countries I would prefer and I told her Italy, Spain, France or Russia.”
The pro teams in Russia are well known for paying their athletes very well.
American and former WNBA player Becky Hammon was a member of the CSKA Moscow team for three years (2007-09), gaining duel Russian citizenship and famously playing for the Russian national team in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Hammon is currently an assistant coach with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, the second female to hold that position in league history.
Gore said the Russian league would be an option as well.
“I said Russia because of the money and the league,” she said. “I was really close to making the training roster for the Dallas Wings of the WNBA but they wanted somebody else, so no hard feelings there.”
Always the competitor, Gore said she wants to play in a good league.
“You know me. I’m competitive and I want to play at the highest level,” she said. “I don’t really care about the money. I want to play against good competition. I told my dad that I don’t want to go to a league where I’m getting paid a lot and scoring 40 or 50 and playing against nobody. I would rather go to a league and score 15 points and play against the best.”
Gore said her agent and parent company Four Player Sports Agency have been very beneficial in helping her reach her dream.
“She’s awesome,” Gore said of Lopez. “Even during basketball season when I couldn’t sign she was still keeping in contact with me. My mom and dad and myself thought she was the best fit for me.”
Gore had a successful career with the Thundering Herd. In her senior season this year she averaged 20 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game and was named to the First-Team All-Conference USA Team. She shot 38 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, sinking a total of 90 3s. She also had 50 steals and nearly 100 assists.
Gore was second in C-USA in scoring last season and was named to the All-Conference Second Team the last two seasons. Marshall finished 17-15 this season, falling 83-71 to Appalachian State in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational.
Gore, a 5-foot-10 shooting guard, finished her career with 2,081 points, third best in program history and tied for sixth in Conference USA’s all-time record book.
She said she’ll miss Marshall.
“Oh my gosh,” Gore said. “It feels so weird. The season ended two months ago but it feels so different now. They are having workouts and I’m not there and I am like, ‘what do I do with my life?’”
Said Gore in a recent Tweet: “Thank you Marshall University! Because of this school I will walk away a better person and have memories with me forever! It’s been a fun ride! I will always bleed green! Go Herd.”
Gore seemed in her element on Wednesday at her basketball camp. With a whistle around her neck and wearing a green camp T-shirt in an ode to the Herd, Gore ran campers through drills, smiling, and truly seeming to enjoy the moment.
The response was overwhelming, she said. A total of 68 campers showed up on Wednesday during the first day of camp. More were expected to come on Thursday on the final day.
“Wow, what a turnout,” Gore said. “I’m enjoying this. I wasn’t expecting this. I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. You never really know who has enjoyed you and who has looked up to you. I wasn’t expecting this many kids but I am really thankful.”
If Gore is able to sign a pro contract she would join an elite group of former Logan County ex-pros, some of which includes: Danny Godby (St. Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds); Max Butcher (Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies 1930s, 40s); Andi Williamson (women’s pro softball); Browning (Euro Leagues); Charley Cowan (LA Rams); Lionel Taylor (Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Houston Oilers); and Lou Green, Chad Akers and Bill Wooten, who all played minor league baseball.