Manila Lady Lion signs with Harding University
Basketball has been a big part of Kailen Shelton's junior and senior high years at Manila. Her hard work and dedication paid off as the Lady Lion signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Harding University. The ceremony was held Monday, Nov. 17, in the high school gymnasium surrounded by family, friends, teammates, coaches, teachers, students and administrators.
Kailen, daughter of Chad and Stacey Shelton, is a 5'9" senior guard/forward for the Lady Lions.
Manila Coach Mark Manchester welcomed and thanked everyone for attending.
"This is a testament to Kailen and her family," Coach Manchester said. "Harding is one of the top II Division schools with a top notch program. We love to have our kids at Harding because we know they will be treated right. I am proud of her. When she tore her ACL her sophomore year I was afraid her basketball career would be over but she worked very hard to come back. She is a dedicated athlete."
Kailen averaged 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals a game last season. She is 70 percent from the free throw line. She was named All Conference her junior year.
She is looking forward to her senior season which is off to a good start. She scored 21 points against Marked Tree, 27 against Harrisburg and 21 against Ridgefield Christian. She is happy to be taking her basketball career on to college and joining the Lady Bisons at Harding.
"I want to thank my coaches, previous and present, and my family for their support," Kailen said.
Kailen also expressed her appreciation to her teammates.
During her junior year her team finished 3A-3 District Champions, Conference Champions, NEA Champions and Gerald Jennings Champions. They finished the season with a 27-6 record.
"Kailen plays with a lot of energy," Coach Manchester said. "She is a good player and a good person. At Harding she will receive the type of education that changes lives."
In addition to her parents, other family members on hand for the ceremony were her grandparents, Steve and Debbie Shelton, uncle Chase Shelton, and sisters, Kinley and Kacey Jo. Also there to wish her well was her uncle Boyd Shelton, a Manila graduate and retired basketball coach. Shelton coached for 30 years and said he was pleased to be back in Manila for his niece's signing.
Susan Hollis and Christie Baugher served cake and punch following the signing ceremony.