Gosnell reflects, looks ahead as App State women’s basketball enters home stretch

App+State+senior+forward+Lainey+Gosnell+finishes+with+her+left+hand+against+Troy+Jan.+29+in+Boone.+She+finished+with+18+points%2C+seven+rebounds+and+three+blocks+in+the+Mountaineers%27+loss.++

Sam Cooke

App State senior forward Lainey Gosnell finishes with her left hand against Troy Jan. 29 in Boone. She finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the Mountaineers’ loss.

Ben Brady, Reporter

As a freshman in the 2017 season, forward Lainey Gosnell arrived at App State to a young womens’ basketball program that featured five freshmen and four sophomores on the team. This season, she is among an experienced squad currently competing for a high seed in a strong Sun Belt Conference. 

Simultaneously, Gosnell has made the transition from being a primary scoring option off the bench as a freshman, to taking on the role of a tenured senior leader. 

“Coming in my freshman year, we didn’t have a lot of experience on the team,” Gosnell said. “We were going through a building year with new players and new coaches, so I had to figure out where I belonged, and what my role was going to be.”

While she initially played at a wing position, Gosnell has solidified her identity as an interior presence and a floor-stretching knockdown shooter. 

She currently ranks second on the team in points and rebounds per game, averaging 11.4 points and 7.3 boards. She also leads the Mountaineers with ten blocks on the season, seven more than any other player. 

Historically, Gosnell sits at fifth all time in three pointers made in program history, and is currently two away from fourth place. She credits her individual success and her team’s success to head coach Angel Elderkin’s emphasis on player development.

“For the past three years I’ve continued to grow in the role I was put in,” Gosnell said. “Coach Angel does a good job of talking about what’s working for us, and making sure we are knowing each other better and learning from each other.”

While Gosnell has seen the effectiveness of the values instilled in her by the program on the court, she has seen similar success in embracing those values off the court. 

After fulfilling her undergraduate requirements for her major in psychology, she began the process of filling resumes and applying to internships. She found that being involved with the program has sharpened her sense of teamwork, her ability to take criticism, her time management, and being a hard worker.

“People have told me a lot about how student athletes have an advantage going out into the real world,” Gosnell said. “It’s those little skills that you gain from being a collegiate athlete that look so strong on a resume and that follow you into the workplace.” 

Currently in her second semester of grad school, Gosnell was accepted into App State’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at the beginning of the year. She hopes to graduate as a licensed clinical mental health counselor, and she wants to work with collegiate athletes or students for a university. 

“I’m not exactly sure what direction I want to go in, but I know I want to join the counseling field,” she said. “I know I want to change people’s lives and help them get through their challenges.”

Looking ahead to the final stretch of the regular season, the Mountaineers will compete in three more series’: against Coastal Carolina, South Alabama, and Georgia Southern. Gosnell said her team understands the significance of finishing out the season strong. 

 “It’s so important to get these last few wins to get a good seeding in the tournament,” Gosnell said. “We are locking in on things that we can learn from in the past games, and working on what we can do better in the future.”

After falling twice to Georgia State (9-6, 5-3 SBC) over the weekend, App State (8-10, 5-7) next faces Coastal Carolina (3-9, 0-8) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game will broadcast on ESPN+.