By Cristhian Plasencia/Asst. Sports Director
The Panthers’ women’s basketball team will say goodbye to their decorated senior forward Kiandre’a Pound, who will graduate with her master’s degree.
Pound won Conference USA Freshman of the Year in the 2014-15 season with the Panthers and also made the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. Pound led the team in scoring by averaging 14.8 points per game, while averaging seven rebounds per game.
In the 2015-16 season however, Pound redshirted due to her pregnancy. She returned the following summer of 2016 to get back in shape for the Panthers’ upcoming season.
“It was tough for her to get back into shape after redshirting for medical reasons. We were up in the oxygen room,” said head coach Tiara Malcom. “She was exhausted and obviously when your body goes through with something that is changing, you have to be able to learn how to move that way again.”
Returning from delivering birth to her daughter Kynsley in March 2016, she struggled to get going in the 2016-17 season. Pound’s minutes went down from 28.6 minutes per game to 22.3 minutes per game. She averaged 6.1 points per game, while averaging 5.1 rebounds per game.
Despite the outside noise Pound heard from critics, she knew her body was back to form during training camp before the 2017-18 season.
“When we had shoot arounds, I felt confident with my shots. The rhyme was flowing,” said Pound. “I finally felt one with my body after going through a transitional period.”
She finished her redshirted-senior year with averaging 13.7 points per game and averaging 9.3 rebounds per game.
Pound show cased her skills with double-double performance on Senior Day against Florida Atlantic University, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. She shot 8-for-13 from the field, and shot 60 percent from three-point territory.
“Kiandre’a stands out to me just for who she was before two years ago, and last year she was trying to get herself back going she had her struggles. We saw moments were she can be really good,” said Malcom. “She stepped into a role of being vocal, trying to lead by what she does on the court.”
For Coach Malcom, It’s the small things that made her great for the Panthers, especially her defense improved on the ball, not just post defense wise. The coaching staff was also impressed by Pound’s ability to rebound.
Pound played three years in college, so she will be eligible to play next season. However, she elects to spend more quality time with her daughter and pursue a career in becoming a child psychologist.
She will earn her master’s in early childhood education in August, at the of the summer semester.