Jacksonville College women's basketball coach Leasa Ailshie is expecting great things from incoming sophomore Shahd Abboud, who hails from Shefa-Amr, Israel, when the Lady Jags report on Aug. 16 for the fall semester.
If Ailshie's wish becomes reality, Abboud's success could, perhaps, be attributed to how she spent much of her time this summer.
Abboud wrapped up play as a member of Israel's U20 Women's National Team a few days ago.
Her squad traveled to Sophia, Bulgaria and participated in the FIBA European Championships, Division B, where team Israel finished with a record of 3-6.
Israel's wins came over Norway (80-46), Romania (89-57) and against Lithuania (62-58).
In the victory over Lithuania it was an Abboud triple that came with less than a minute to play that secured the decision for the women of Israel.
Abboud, who played a forward position for Israel, led her team in scoring by dropping in 13 points in that outing.
“I believe Shahd played in nine games in a very short period of time,” Ailshie said. “That kind of international experience is invaluable for her Even though the international game is a bit different from the style of basketball that is played in America, having success internationally usually gives a kid a lot of confidence.”
Abboud, who prepped at Nazareth Baptist School, average 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game while connecting at a 26.9-percent (5-19) clip from beyond the arc.
Ailshie said that as an added upside, Abboud will have just under a month to rest, something that was not the case last year.
“Shahd played on a different age-group (Women's National Team) team this season,” said Ailshie. “Last year she came to Jacksonville right after getting done with international competition and she had some bumps and bruises that took a while to heal.
“We are looking forward to a fresh Shahd coming in this year and I really look for her to be even more of a key contributor that she was last year.”
Abboud's parents are both basketball coaches and it has always been her dream to play collegiatly in the United States.
Abboud's attributes at JC are not limited to the basketball court, however.
“She's a 4.0 (grade point average) that takes care of her business on and off of the court,” Ailshie said. “She's a great kid and she does whatever we need her to do.
“I expect Shahd to be one of team leaders this coming season.”