Shaylee Gonzales's leadership will be missed next season

Shaylee Gonzales was a leader for Texas Women's Basketball last year. Her experience as a college basketball player helped guide the Longhorns through conference play. She will be missed next season as the Longhorns go to the SEC.
Shaylee Gonzales, Texas women's basketball
Shaylee Gonzales, Texas women's basketball / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

Senior guard Shaylee Gonzales led the Texas Women's Basketball team during conference play this past season. When Junior guard Rori Harmon went down with a torn ACL, you could hear a pin drop on Twitter from Longhorn fans.

Texas women's basketball loses a core part of the starting 5 in G Shaylee Gonzales this offseason

There was not a true stand-out leader on the team after the injury. It was like the Longhorns were about to sail into Big 12 Conference play without a captain at the helm of a ship. That's where Gonzales stepped up and filled that role on their way to winning the Big 12 title.

Gonzales didn't start her collegiate career at Texas. She played at BYU for her first couple of seasons in college basketball. She had one of the best scoring averages in the nation during her freshman season. After four seasons at BYU, Gonzales realized she wanted to chase her dreams of winning a championship.

That is when she transferred to Texas to play under Texas Women's Basketball Head Coach Vic Schaefer. During her first season with the Longhorns, she won the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award and All-Big 12 second team.

Longhorns fans saw during her final season at Texas what Schaefer saw in her leadership skills. There were games during last season when her teammates had trouble scoring baskets. That's when she stepped in and helped the Longhorns by scoring. She even helped by telling the younger players who to match up with and where they needed to be on defense. That is the type of player that any basketball coach would love to have when one of their star players has a season-ending injury.

There were some rumors that Gonzales would return for her final season in a Longhorns uniform this fall. However, she had other plans of her own. Gonzales took to Twitter to say goodbye to Longhorns fans as she declared for the WNBA Draft.

That announcement probably felt emotional for Schaefer because he would need her going into the SEC Conference next season. When the Longhorns start playing basketball again in October, Gonzales's leadership will be missing from the lineup.

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