Kansas State to Retire Lehning's Jersey

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State Department of Athletics announced Thursday that the Wildcats will retire the jersey of current K-State senior Shalee Lehning in a postgame ceremony of the Wildcats’ game against Texas A&M on March 1.


K-State will be retiring the uniforms of Tammie Romstad (1978-82; No. 33) and Priscilla Gary (1981-83; No. 10) at halftime of the game against Texas A&M on March 1. The addition of the three numbers to the Bramlage Coliseum rafters will bring the total of K-State women’s basketball retired jerseys to five.


"You could not ask for greater leadership, greater integrity or greater passion both as a player and as a person,” stated K-State Director of Athletics Bob Krause about Lehning. “Shalee Lehning has been the women's basketball team's heart, soul and fire in the engine since the day she stepped on the court as a Wildcat. She is a quintessential Kansan who combines hard work, a caring attitude and a core set of values that guide her to pathways of success. She is a role model for all ages and in particular for young women who aspire to achieve excellence in academics, athletics and life.”


Lehning, a product of Sublette, Kan., is a candidate for national player of the year honors for the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and is a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. She is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 first team selection and two-time CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII selection.


“Shalee Lehning's career achievements, like those of Ohlde, Wecker, Gary, and Romstad have set standards that will last for all time in Kansas State women's basketball history,” said head coach Deb Patterson. “As one of only five players in the great history of Kansas State to receive acclaim as a candidate for the National Player of The Year, she has attained individual success and distinction of the ultimate magnitude.”

This season, Lehning ranks second in the nation and leads the Big 12 in assists per game at 8.0, is first in the Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio at 2.1, ninth in the league and first on the team in rebounds at 7.5 and 22nd in the Big 12 and third on the team in scoring at 11.3. Her assist total of 176 this season set the school record for assists by a senior and ranks fourth in school history for a season behind her own previous three efforts.


The 2008 All-Big 12 first team selection currently owns the school record and ranks third in Big 12 history for career assists with 747, ranks fourth in school history in career rebounds with 869, ranks fifth in career starts with 116, ranks 10th in career games played with 122, is sixth in career steals with 224 and ranks 25th in career points with 1,117. Lehning is the only player in Big 12 history to record 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 700 assists for her career.

“The intensity, passion, toughness, and character that Shalee Lehning has brought to this program are unmatched,” stated Patterson. “For four years she has been the driving force behind Kansas State's national successes, including an outright Big 12 championship, a WNIT Championship, NCAA appearances and a ranking as high as No. 12 in the nation.”


“Shalee's Big 12 Conference and KSU records are of an extraordinary and unique nature. The versatility with which she has impacted games and records over time sets her apart in her greatness. Her ability to fill the stat sheet game in and out while competing in a league that has been rated the toughest in the nation two of her four years, is nothing short of amazing. Her Big 12 Conference and KSU triple-double records, her astounding "1000-800-700" record and her 20-rebound game are achievements which speak to the unconventional greatness that she has brought to the game and to the history of Kansas State women's basketball.”


In her first season with the Wildcats in 2005-06, Lehning guided K-State to the first national postseason crown in the program’s history by winning the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). In the title clinching contest against Marquette, Lehning registered the first of four triple-doubles in her career with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. She holds the school and Big 12 record for triple-doubles in a career with four and the single-season record for triple-doubles with two.


Lehning concluded her debut campaign with a K-State record for assists by a freshman with 189 and tied the school record for rebounds in a game with 20 against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 6, 2005. Following the season, she was named to the Dallas Morning News Big 12 All-Newcomer Team and earned Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors for Dec. 12.


During her sophomore season, Lehning led the Wildcats in assists (179), rebounds (236) and field goal percentage (.513) while pushing the Wildcats to the WNIT semifinals. Her total of 179 assists set the K-State sophomore record and ranked her second in the Big 12. Her efforts during the season earned her an All-Big 12 honorable mention citation.


In Lehning’s junior season, she guided the Wildcats to the second Big 12 regular season title in school history and the 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in the program’s history. She was recognized by the league’s coaches’ with All-Big 12 first team honors and was also picked as a WBCA Region V finalist. She was also recognized by the media who cover the Big 12 as she was named the 2007-08 Kansas City Star co-Big 12 Player of the Year, a Kansas City Star All-Big 12 first team selection and to the Waco Tribune All-Big 12 second team.


Lehning became the first Wildcat to lead the Big 12 in assists with 203 during the 2007-08 season (6.3 apg) and was 11th in the nation in the category. She was the first player in school history to record 200 assists in a season and set the record for assists by a junior. She led the Wildcats in rebounds for the second straight season with 243 and was one of just six guards in the nation to lead her team in rebounds in consecutive seasons.


Lehning’s top effort of an outstanding junior season came at Kansas in the Wildcats’ season finale, as she tallied a career-high 29 points to go with 17 rebounds and three assists in the K-State’s Big 12 regular season title clinching contest. The performance earned her first Big 12 Player of the Week citation.


To purchase tickets for the Sunday, March 1 game against Texas A&M, please call (800) 221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com.