Panama City, FL---Former head coach Roonie Scovel and Gulf Coast basketball are now able to boast another another one of their own drafted by the WNBA.
Andrea Smith, who led the Lady Commodores to conference, state and national championships in the 09-2010 season, taken by the Connecticut Sun in last week's draft.
Andrea's coach at Gulf Coast was certainly paying attention to that draft last Monday night
"Yeah I definitely was watching." says Smith's coach at Gulf Coast Roonie Scovel. "I don't know that I've watched any draft all the way through, but that night I just had this feeling."
And when Smith's name was called, 35th overall, Roonie says it didn't take long for the two to communicate.
"Within seconds, I just texted congrats. And within seconds back...Thanks coach. And I said now go make the team and she said that's my goal."
Roonie recruited Andrea, and her twin sister Andrelle out of the Lakeland area in 2008, and coached Andrea into an All American. Make no mistake coach Scovel is a big reason why Andrea went on to star in the Big East and now has the chance to play professionally.
"Well I don't know about me but Gulf Coast did. There was definitely that process where they grew up as basketball players and they grew up as people, and Gulf Coast is the place that they did that."
And going back to that text, where Smith replied "thank you", well hearing those words means a lot to any coach!
"Oh absolutely, that's the payback." says Scovel. "The payback and all the things. And they don't even have to say thank you just what she achieved is thank you enough. I'm just so proud of her. Just outstanding for how hard she worked, Andrea just, those two twins worked so hard. They worked on their game and the things they couldn't do. It's just a great story from where she was to where she is right now."
Scovel says making the Suns won't be easy but given Andrea's now rare mid-range game, well she has a good shot. Tashia Morehead a Bay alum, the only other GC player drafted. Two other Gulf Coast players, Mandisha Stevenson and Tiffany Stansbury spent some time on WNBA rosters, both now playing in Europe.