Women’s basketball: In “best shape of her life,” Richmond strives to succeed

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Cameron Hurst @CameronNHurst

Gabby Richardson is quite familiar with the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team.

As a graduate student and redshirt senior, Richmond is the longest tenured player of the current Bonaventure team and is coming off a 2015-16 season where she averaged 5.3 points per game, recording minutes in each of last season’s 32 games.

However, as the old saying goes, “what is old is new again” as Richmond enters this season with a new coach in Jesse Fleming and a young team that includes five freshmen. Richmond, personally, is trying to strive through Fleming’s new system.

“Personally, I’m just trying to have a good season,” said Richmond. “The past seasons I’ve been here and there, pretty average. I want to have an all-around consistent season and be a leader for the team.”

Her coach is looking forward to what she will do on the court this year, as well.

“She can create some havoc defensively,” said Fleming. “She was coming in this and she was winning sprints. She came in the best shape of her life. She wants it and she wants to put her stamp on this team. She’s a leader.”

And, as a leader, the Chicago native wants to help lead the Bonnies to a successful follow-up season, following last year’s run to the NCAA Tournament.

“In general, I want the team to definitely have a winning record and prove people wrong,” Richmond said, acknowledging the Bonnies preseason ranking of tenth in the Atlantic 10 Conference as motivation for the season.

“We’re usually ranked high. I want to prove people wrong this year. It’s like no one expects much from us anyways, so it’s always good to prove the doubters wrong.”

A big part of that, she believes, will occur thanks to the team’s new head coach.

Said Richmond, “[Fleming] really cares about the game, he really cares about the school, and in general the team as individuals. He’s very intense, but we need that. Coach Jesse is doing a great job preparing us for the season.”

And, as she herself prepares for her final season as a Bonnie, Richmond is proud of the way the program has developed in her five years on the team.

“It’s been a rocky road,” she said. “I have been on teams that did really bad and I have been on teams that made program history, so it’s just like really great how the program has evolved over the years and me, as a player, evolving through the program. It’s a really great thing to see hard work get paid off. We’ve gotta keep working hard to prove that we deserve these things.”

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