McPhee, Lovett Transfer to Santa Fe College
Gainesville, FL – Two former Gainesville High School standouts made the decision to return home to Gainesville after a year at NCAA Division I institutions, and will both play next season for Coach Chanda Stebbins and the Santa Fe Saints. De’ja McPhee spent her freshman year at Jacksonville University while Kayla Lovett played her first season of college ball at Alabama A&M University.
The former Gainesville Purple Hurricanes will join another former GHS graduate when they lace it up in the fall, Saints sophomore guard Denae James. The two newcomers will have one year of eligibility at SF.
Both players come to Santa Fe after coaching changes at their former schools. By coming to SF they will be able to play immediately, as opposed to sitting out a season had they transferred laterally to another NCAA Division I college or university.
McPhee was a four-time first team all-area selection at GHS and averaged 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior for the Hurricanes, who reached the Class 6A regional finals in 2012 and 2013.
Lovett was a three-time first team all-area selection who averaged 9.0 points, 3.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds her senior year for the Hurricanes, who went 25-2 in 2013 in reaching the 6A regional final for the second year in a row.
“We are very excited to have De’ja and Kayla come back to Gainesville and join our program,” said Stebbins. “We look forward to helping them both hone their skills and help get them back to an upper division school next season.
“De’ja is a great addition to our team,” added Stebbins. “She comes from a great family, is a great person, has already had a strong academic performance as a freshmen at JU, and the fact that I loved her basketball abilities out of high school is a huge bonus! I am real excited to see how she grows in our system this season and what the future holds for her.”
“We are so excited to have a seasoned point guard like Kayla on our roster and I look forward to what she can bring to us leadership wise as well as skill wise. Like De’ja, she comes from a great family and I’m happy that her parents will get to see her play one more year. I’m sure she is going to get a lot of attention from NCAA schools during the season and we will work hard to help her find the best fit.”
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