EWU's Ashli Payne to play professional basketball in Australia - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

EWU's Ashli Payne to play professional basketball in Australia

Courtesy: EWU Athletics Courtesy: EWU Athletics

By EWU Athletics

CHENEY, Wash. – Recent Eastern Washington University women's basketball alumna Ashli Payne has signed a contract to play basketball professionally for the Gold Coast Rollers of the Queensland Basketball League in Gold Coast, Queensland.

Payne transferred to Eastern Washington after a two-year stint at Umpqua Community College and made an immediate impact for the Eagles, starting 30 contests en route to Eastern's second-consecutive 20-win season. During her two years in an Eastern uniform, Payne pulled down 489 rebounds for an average of 7.8 per game.

"I feel very blessed and lucky to have this amazing opportunity to play professionally," said Payne. "I'm so grateful to those that have helped me along the way. It has always been a dream of mine to do what I love for a living, and today I can say a dream came true."

The Bremerton, Wash., native earned an All-Big Sky Honorable Mention nod during the 2016-17 season. She led the team, and ranked seventh in the Big Sky, with 7.0 rebounds per game. Payne also led the team in free throws, as she was 79-100 (.790) from the charity stripe. She was also sharp behind the arc, shooting .434 from three-point range to rank fourth in the Big Sky.

During her senior season, she had double-digit rebounds in nine games, pulling down a season-high 14 boards against Idaho on Dec. 31. She also put up 21 points in that game against the Vandals to earn Co-Big Sky Player of the Week honors on Jan. 20. She had 20-or-more points in five games this past season to go along with three double-doubles, including a career-high 26 point performance against Weber State.

"I'm excited for the opportunity that Ashli has to play overseas," said head coach Wendy Schuller. "She's a very talented player who brings a versatile skill set to the table and I know she's going to be a hit in Australia. We have a history of sending players overseas and I know AP will be similar to what those young women have done and will be an outstanding representative of our women's basketball program and of Eastern Washington University."

Payne ended her Eagle career with 742 points, averaging 11.8 per game and started all 63 games she appeared in.

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