TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State women’s basketball redshirt freshman forward Gabby Bevillard has decided to step away from her playing career for good following multiple recurring knee injuries that have caused her setbacks over the last few years.
“Gabby is someone who has unbelievable heart and determination, and she embodies everything it means to be a true Seminole,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “With her latest setback during preseason workouts last week and after consulting with our medical staff, Gabby thought it was best to end her basketball career. When healthy, she is a remarkable player, but we know this decision is best for her long-term health.”
Bevillard was Florida State’s first commitment in its 2013 signing class that also included current sophomores Brittany Brown, Ivey Slaughter and Kai James. The native of Bishop, Ga., showcased an exceptional all-around game, holding a variety of post moves while also being a legitimate threat from both the mid-range and beyond the arc.
The highly-touted performer from Oconee County High School averaged 17 points, 12.2 rebounds and an astounding five blocks per game as a high school junior in 2011-12, the last season she was at full strength. She was the driving force toward leading Oconee to a 23-7 record and the Class AAA Georgia state tournament for the first time in 12 years. As a junior, Bevillard posted 26 double-doubles in 30 games.
Despite being forced to miss her senior season in high school with a season-ending knee injury, Bevillard still managed to garner a No. 33 ranking in the 2013 recruiting class by ESPN HoopGurlz. She was named the All-Northeast Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year by the Athens Banner-Herald and scored over 1,000 points despite sitting her final year.
Bevillard’s first collegiate setback occurred during preseason practice as a freshman in 2013, suffering a season-ending knee injury in her opposite knee compared to the two injuries sustained in high school. Her passion and will to get back on the court after what was her third season-ending knee injury was an inspiration to her teammates and coaches, and she was given the Ronalda Pierce Heart Award at the 2014 FSU Women’s Basketball Banquet in April for her perseverance and toughness in battling back from injury.
“Gabby means so much to the team,” sophomore forward and fellow Georgia native Ivey Slaughter said. “She’s kind of the glue in a sense. When we get into ourselves, a teammate just looks at Gabby and how hard she worked and we realize that we are doing part of this for her. Her determination is literally one of a kind. She is an inspiration to us all.”
A sport management major, Bevillard will remain a student at Florida State University and will continue to be a part of the Florida State Women’s Basketball family. Her career ambition is to work in an athletic department, a goal that seems very attainable based on the intangibles she possesses.
When she was a freshman in high school, Bevillard wrote down a list of colleges she wanted to attend. Florida State happened to be the first one she wrote, and she made that dream a reality when she signed her National Letter of Intent with the Seminoles.
“I know that Gabby has an incredibly bright future. She has an infectious personality and is loved by her teammates,” Semrau added. “She is very smart and goal-driven, as was shown in her quest to come back.”
Bevillard took part in a wide range of community service initiatives with her teammates, visiting the local Ronald McDonald house, going to elementary schools and community centers and passing out presents to children during the holiday season. She also traveled to Italy and Senegal last summer as part of its foreign tour presented by Nike. In that two-week trip, she got a chance to experience the culture of both countries and give back to the youth of the African country.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball throughout the offseason, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).