January 26, 2012
San Antonio – From close range to downtown, Lady Rattler Chesney Neely brings a new flavor to the game of posts.
The 5-foot-10 freshman is among the other towering Rattlers who man the paint, joining Morgan Pullins and Kathryn Galindo inside – all of whom house the top three field-goal percentages for the team.
But the similarities stop there.
Commonly, any post outside the arc serves as a non-threat, but Neely has proven she is one that needs to be contained. Neely holds the third-highest 3-point percentage on the team and it is, she says, a craft she began working on since high school as she knew it would make her valuable to the Rattlers.
“My junior year in high school is when I realized I could do both (shooting in the paint and outside),” says the Goldthwaite, Texas native. “It’s just not expected so to be able to post up then step out and be able to contribute from the outside too helps a lot.”
Despite being a newcomer not only to the Rattlers but to collegiate play as well, Neely has started half of the her games this season, making an appearance in all 21. She averages 18.8 minutes per game and says it comes back to the basics in being successful on the court, no matter the classification.
“Coming in, my mentality was that, ‘You know, I am a freshman,'” she says, “but I felt like I had the ability to work hard and bring what I could to the team. The whole time through preseason and season now is to work hard in practice and in whatever we’re doing. That leads me through and gets me to where I’m at now.”
Neely broke out in her first game as a Rattler in the season-opener against Pittsburg State with a keen performance, sinking two 3’s and knocking down a total of 10 points. The premiere of her Rattler career showed promise of a cunning season and excitement for her next three years on the team.
“I hope to lead the team to as many accomplishments as we can and just be a part of that,” Neely says.
Neely and the Rattlers have the potential for the most-wanted accomplishment this season, holding the No. 2 seed in Heartland Conference.
“At the start of conference we surprised everyone and got people talking,” Neely says of the Rattlers’ shot at the Heartland Championship. “We’ve lost two recently and we take that as motivation to get back to work.”
Whether calling for the ball by the bucket or behind the arc, Neely has found her way around the court and into the Rattlers’ sync.