UCSB's Sha'Rae Gibbons To Miss Portion of 2008-09 Season

Nov. 6, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara women's basketball player Sha'Rae Gibbons had successful surgery on her fractured left pinkie finger on Thursday and the senior guard will miss the start of the regular season.

Gibbons, who averaged 9.5 points and led the team with 107 assists last season, suffered the injury in practice recently. She did not play in UCSB's exhibition win over Westmont on Wednesday.

Gibbons will be out an undetermined amount of time, and will not be ready to play when the Gauchos open the regular season at the Thunderdome on Sunday, Nov. 16 vs. San Diego.

"I feel for Sha'Rae," said head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "There isn't a student-athlete that works harder, nor one that is more invested in her team. She's also one of the strongest people I know and I have no doubt that she'll bounce back from this injury."

Gibbons, a Sacramento native, was expected to be UCSB's starting point guard this season after setting career-highs in every statistical category last season. Her .847 free throw percentage ranks second all-time for a single season in UCSB history.

More than her stats and abilities, Gibbons will also be missed in other avenues.

"Sha'Rae epitomizes Gaucho spirit with what she brings to the court - her energy and experience and we'll miss that," Gottlieb said. "But I know she'll still have a huge presence for this team and everyone else will step up and give a little bit more in her absence."

UCSB - a nationally recognized university in both academic and athletic excellence - is located in the central coast of California in a picturesque campus and community settingnext to the Pacific Ocean. Each year over 450 Division-1 Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom and give back to the community.