Unaka’s Garland signs with Milligan College

Published 4:51 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2018

For Unaka senior Lexi Garland, it is the season that keeps on giving.

Not too long after the Lady Rangers basketball team made a trip to the state tournament, Garland signed her name with Milligan College Monday where she will play hoops for the Buffaloes.
“This is all I have ever wanted, making it to state, having such a good year with my team, and now I’m signing to play basketball,” said Garland. “And it’s local so I really don’t have to leave my family. I might actually get to come back and help coach the JV next year.”
In 2018, the Lady Rangers made a deep postseason run as they fought into the TSSAA Class A State semifinals after defeating Wartburg Central, 61-54, giving the Unaka girls basketball program its first state tournament victory. With the historic win and successful season, came many memorable moments, said Garland.
“I am so happy I got to spend my senior with my team,” she said. “We were always laughing. We were always joking and having fun. We were never dreading practice or dreading a game. We knew we were going to have fun and knew that we were going to win. We made some really big steps.”
On hand during Monday’s signing was Unaka head coach Kenneth Chambers. Chambers said he was happy for Garland, and said it was great to see one of the Lady Rangers sign to play collegiate ball.
“It is an honor anytime you get a kid that goes on to the college level because they represent the school and they represent the team,” said Chambers. “Lexi is a great kid, and I think she will do wonderfully in college. Milligan got a great basketball player.”
Milligan head coach Rich Aubrey said that his team is always happy to pick up a local athlete, especially, one that comes from a successful program.
“We love the fact that Lexi comes from a team that knows how to win,” said Aubrey. “First, we are big believers in trying to recruit locally. We feel like there are so many quality programs in the area. Secondly, we just love the fact that Lexi has experience winning with this team. It was really fun to watch them make their run.”
While Milligan, Garland said she plans on studying nursing.

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