Two SFA basketball standouts sign overseas contracts

Two SFA basketball standouts sign overseas contracts
Channel Hayes goes for a layup in the Ladyjacks game against UT-Arlington in the 2019 WNIT. (Source: SFA)

From SFA Athletics

Two key players from the 2018-19 Lumberjack and Lady Lumberjack teams will be heading overseas for professional basketball.

Davonte Fitzgerald will head overseas to continue his roundball career after inking a professional contract with the Svendborg Rabbits out of Svendborg, Denmark. Chanell Hayes inked a deal with Italian club Andros Basket Palermo on Monday.

“We are extremely proud and excited for Chanell and the opportunity that lies in front of her”, said SFA head coach Mark Kellogg.

“She has worked tirelessly over the past four years to earn this contract. Chanell developed into a tremendous player in an SFA uniform, and it will be fun to watcher her professional career.”

Chanell Hayes talks journey to professional basketball

Hayes ended her career as one of the program’s best, becoming the 33rd player in program history to eclipse the 1000-point plateau and finishing 28th overall in career scoring. She also ended her career ranked seventh in all-time three-point shooting, knocking down 150 career treys. Hayes’ averages of 13.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game earned her a spot on the Southland All-Conference First Team in her senior campaign at SFA. During her time in Nacogdoches, Hayes helped SFA accrue a 93-34 (.732) record overall and a 60-12 (.833) mark in league play.

Hayes and the Ladyjacks reached consecutive Southland Tournament title games and earned postseason WNIT bids in each of the past two seasons. Hayes joins former teammate Taylor Ross as Ladyjacks among the professional ranks.

Fitzgerald is the latest in long line of 'Jacks who have taken their talents overseas following their respective collegiate careers. Included on that list are the likes of Thomas Walkup (BC Zalgris in Lithuania), Taylor Smith (Nanterre 92 in France) and Demetrious Floyd (BC Kazma Basket in Albania).

In his lone season as a Lumberjack, Fitzgerald served as a key contributor to the squad by starting 28 of the 30 contests he took part in. Through the 2018-19 campaign, the forward averaging 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Those averages put the Atlanta, Ga., product third on the team scoring charts and second on its rebounding list.

SFA Head Coach Kyle Keller on Devonte Fitzgerald signing pro contract

Fitzgerald totaled 10 or more points on 17 occasions through his time in an SFA uniform and went off for a career-high 32 points in a non-conference home showdown with Louisiana Tech (Dec. 7). Both double-doubles of his collegiate career came in 2018-19 and helped the 'Jacks secure Southland Conference victories over Southeastern Louisiana (Jan. 2) and Abilene Christian (Jan. 23).