Florida women's basketball adds a Gator soccer player to the roster
Soccer season is over, so why not play some basketball?
Florida women's basketball added a familiar face to its roster yesterday, Gator soccer All-American Gabby Seiler.
Seiler was actually recruited by head coach Cameron Newbauer while he was an assistant coach at Georgia. The two have a relationship that goes back to her time at McIntosh High School, where she was a two-sport athlete being recruited for both soccer and basketball.
"I watched her and saw game footage of her playing at McIntosh (High School)," said Newbauer. "What’s funny was that when Becky Burleigh called me and told me she had a player who was interested and her name was Gabby Seiler, my first question was, 'from McIntosh High School?' I remember she committed to Georgia for soccer. She transferred to Florida after her second year there. I reached out to her and here she is.”
"First thing Cam said to me was, 'Do you remember me?' I just sat there and didn't know what to say," Seiler said with a smile on her face. "I don't have the best memory. He was like, 'I used to coach at Georgia!' and I'm like oh my goodness that's such a small world. I kind of remembered once he said that. I did recognize him.
“I was telling Cam (Newbauer) that basketball is my first love. Just getting to be in this environment, joining a new team and getting to experience that is something I’m really excited about.”
In high school Seiler broke her school's all-time scoring record. The previous 20-year-old record was 1918 points, held by Jeff Sheppard who starred at Kentucky and won two NCAA titles. Eventually, Seiler scored more than 2,000 points to lead both the men's and women's teams.
The reason for the new addition is injuries. The Gators are low in numbers during practice and Newbauer was looking for a way to get his team more down time, so he reached out to some of Florida's head coaches to see if someone could help.
"It came to fruition that way," said Newbauer. "I reached out to her and I think she can help the locker room, help practice and potentially play in games. Gabby is a great athlete, a champion and an incredible competitor. I think just from that standpoint she’s going to help the entire culture of our program. I’m excited to have her around and see what she can do basketball-wise to help us out.”
With soccer being the priority, the question was raised as to what will happen after the 2018 National Women's Soccer League draft that takes place January 18th.
"Some of the NWSL coaches do know that I am playing basketball, and I'm gonna be very upfront with them before the draft," said Seiler. "They know that obviously I can't report to them until the end of basketball season, and I'm in school anyway, so it just depends on when school ends."
Seiler was the 2017 team captain for Florida soccer and scored 17 goals during her collegiate soccer career.