Transfer graduate guard Shaylee Gonzales set to return for another season after first year success


Assad Malik

Texas guard Shaylee Gonzales attempts a layup against Texas Tech at the Moody Center on Feb. 8, 2022. Texas defeated Texas Tech 80-71.

Lia Hoang, General Sports Reporter

Transfer graduate guard Shaylee Gonzales’ presence on the court made a big difference this basketball season for Texas, leading the team to a Big 12 Championship title and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. 

Before coming to the Forty Acres, the 5-foot-10-inch guard from Arizona played for BYU for the 2018-22 seasons, which gave Gonzales her first Division I offer at only 15 years old. She committed to the program two years later, averaging 18.3 points per game and becoming the 2021-22 WCC Player of the Year. But after leaving her mark at BYU, she felt that it was time for a bigger stage to show her skills. 

“It was super important for me to look at a school where I was gonna grow as an athlete on the court,” Gonzales said.

Over 80 schools reached out to Gonzales once she hit the transfer portal, but she ultimately chose to come to Austin to play for the Longhorns because of the competitiveness and the aggressiveness that the team plays with.

The transition from Utah to Texas did not come easy as Gonzales experienced a “big learning curve” when it came to the difference in coaching from head coach Vic Schaefer. 

“Just jumping in and having to change my mindset on things and certain habits I’ve been doing my whole college career, … it’s been hard,” Gonzales said. “But I feel like I’ve grown as a player, and I’ve definitely learned a different side of the game.”  

This new mindset came in handy during the 2023 season as she reached 2,000 total career points back in March, a highly sought-after goal for Gonzales.

“She gets down there, she’s physical and she’s tough,” Schaefer said. “It is hard to score 2,000 points in college basketball, so (Gonzales) really hit a milestone.”

Along with accomplishing this feat, she was the only person on the team to start in every game this season, making her an asset of note. Gonzales also averaged about 16 points per game and earned the title of Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year. 

“(Shaylee) understood what Coach Schaefer wants,” sophomore guard Rori Harmon said. Gonzales took over for Harmon when she suffered a foot injury earlier in the season. 

Gonzales looks to continue to make an impact on the program next season. The official Texas Women’s Basketball social media accounts announced on March 24 that she will be staying at Texas for her last year of college eligibility. Gonzales’ return gives Texas a familiar face as they seek to make it farther next March. 

Gonzales said that her teammates, coaches and the Texas fanbase helped give her a new home here in Austin that she’s extremely grateful for. 

“It’s been a great experience I will never forget,” Gonzales said. “I have grown as a player.… (Texas) is definitely where I envisioned myself being.”