LINCOLN — Kendall Coley, a national top-50 recruit, has enrolled early and will be eligible to play immediately, Nebraska women's basketball announced Tuesday.
"We're excited that Kendall is able to join us, mostly just to give her the opportunity to start making that transition to college basketball and gaining strength, gaining knowledge of our system and her teammates," said Nebraska head coach Amy Williams. "I don't really want to put a whole lot of projects on when she'll get her first game minutes or how that's going to look just yet until we get her through all of her medical protocols and she's able to be in practice for awhile and get a feel for her team and teammates."
The 6-foot-2 forward from Minnesota was on the Huskers' bench Tuesday to witness Nebraska's 76-71 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
But the national top-50 recruit will be available for action the rest of the season after graduating early from high school. The pandemic delayed girls basketball season in Minnesota, so Coley — who averaged 15.5 points and 7.4 rebounds last season — is here now.
She won't lose a season of eligibility, either. Each athlete who plays this season is getting an extra year of eligibility to pursue for next season. Coley falls into that group after clearing NU's mandatory COVID-19 testing protocols over the weekend.
The versatile wing should be able to help the Huskers in a variety of ways as she's worked into the rotation, which has been hampered by multiple severe injuries.
“I’m a pretty consistent shooter, I’m pretty versatile,” Coley said last summer after she committed to NU. “I do need to get better at ball-handling and attacking the basket, but in practice I’m 80% accurate from midrange, and from the 3 my best is 60%. It’s always been something I’ve practiced a lot. My dad has always been focused on the right way to shoot, mechanics, and so we’ve gotten a lot of reps.”