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La Roche Names Former WNBA Player and Penn State Star as Women's Basketball Coach

La Roche Names Former WNBA Player and Penn State Star as Women's Basketball Coach

La Roche College is excited to announce the hiring of former Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) player and Penn State star, Kamela Gissendanner, as the next head coach of the women's basketball program.

Gissendanner comes to La Roche after serving as an assistant coach at St. Francis University (PA) from 2009-2011. In those two seasons, she helped lead the Red Flashes to two NCAA Tournament appearances and two NEC Championships.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be the next head women's basketball coach at La Roche College. Coach Benton has done a great job laying the foundation for the program and we have a great core group of girls who are ready to be successful in the classroom as well as on the court. It's going to be an exciting season."

Gissendanner played part of the 2008 season with the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. She also spent a season in Norway's Kvinnenligaen League where she was the league's leading scorer and MVP and played a season in Slovakia's Cassovia League where she ranked fifth in scoring average.

Prior to turning pro, Gissendanner played three seasons at Penn State University. She finished her collegiate career ranked 23rd on Penn State's all-time scoring list with 1,236 points and was selected All-Big Ten Third Team in 2008 and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2006 and 2007. She was named team-MVP her senior season and was selected as a team-captain her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons.

Gissendanner is a Clairton, PA native and a 2003 graduate of Clairton High School. While at Clairton, she set the school's all-time scoring mark, was selected as a USA Today High School All-American and named the 2003 AP Small School Player of the Year, all while helping Clairton win 2 WPIAL Championships.

Gissendanner replaces former head coach Eddie Benton who left for an assistant coaching position at St. Francis University (PA). "We are very fortunate to have someone with Kam's experience on board and she'll be an outstanding addition to our staff. She has plenty to offer to the ladies in our basketball program and the La Roche College community. It's quite an exciting time as we move forward following the departure of Coach Eddie Benton. I have all the confidence in the world in Kam's work ethic, her ability to teach the game, and her passion for coaching."

The La Roche women's basketball team begins their season on Friday, November 16 when they host Thiel College as part of the La Roche College Tip-Off Classic. 

Photo Courtesy of Penn State University Athletics