The defending two-time America East champion University of Maine women’s basketball team has added some depth to its frontcourt. Th Black Bears have brought in graduate student transfer Gadson Lefft, who comes from the University of Delaware.
Lefft, who graduated from Delaware in May with a B.A. in history, is eligible immediately under the NCAA’s fifth-year transfer rule for four-year graduates who have not exhausted their athletic eligibility.
The 6-foot forward appeared in 20 games last season, making two starts, for the Blue Hens. She averaged just 8.4 minutes per game but averaged 3.0 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Lefft began her career at Clemson University during the 2015-16 season, and averaged 2.2 points and 2.6 rebounds. She transferred to Delaware, where she sat out the first season under NCAA transfer rules, then missed the 2017-18 campaign due to injury.
The Blue Hens of the Colonial Athletic Association went 16-15 last season.
“Gaddy has a lot of experience. She’s athletic, she can shoot and rebound, and she’s really versatile,” University of Maine coach Amy Vachon said. “She can do a lot of things for us, and she’s a great kid. We’re excited to have her.”
Lefft will be a scholarship player.
In her bio on the University of Delaware athletics website, Delaware head coach Natasha Adair said Lefft is a, “blue-collar worker that is a true team player. Her energy is extremely contagious, and her versatility will contribute to our team’s success.”
In her two seasons, she shot 46.3 percent from the floor (17-41) at Clemson and 45.7 percent at Delaware (21-for-46).
The Black Bears went 25-8 last season and graduated two starters in forward Tanesha Sutton, who averaged 14.2 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds, and guard Parise Rossignol of Van Buren (11.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg). Seldom-used first-year Turkish guard Doga Alper left the program after the season.
Sutton was an All-America East first-team selection and Rossignol, who is now a Black Bear assistant coach, was a second-team pick.
UMaine is bringing in two other players in 6-2 forward Abbe Laurence of Greenland, New Hampshire, and 5-11 guard Anna Kahelin from Helsinki, Finland.
Lefft, from Lake Wylie, South Carolina, scored more than 1,000 points and corralled 750-plus rebounds in two seasons at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School (2012-14). She was the South Carolina Independent School Association AAA Player of the Year in 2014 and was a two-time all-state selection.
She was also the SCISA shot put champion and placed second in the high jump and fourth in the discus.
She spent a postgraduate year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where she averaged 14.1 points and 6.5 rebounds.