Monday, August 22, 2011

Jelena Antic no longer with Liberty

Jelena Antic, a creative and dynamic offensive force for Liberty the past two seasons, is no longer at the school and has signed to play professionally overseas. On Sunday, Antic inked a deal with Partizan, a club team in Serbia.

The 6-2 Antic, a native of Skopje, Macedonia who starred at Liberty Christian Academy before spending two seasons with the Lady Flames, said returning closer to home was a big factor in her decision.

"I have been away from home for a long time (five years)," Antic said via a Facebook message. "I thought about this decision for over a year. I will be playing pro and finishing school in the country I will be playing."

The Lady Flames will also be without Kylee Beecher, the 6-4 forward from Roanoke who will not play basketball this season but will continue to study at Liberty.

Said Lady Flames coach Carey Green: "Both have left the team in search of personal interest. We are thankful for each of their contributions while at Liberty. Both were named to the (Big South) All- Conference Freshman team and followed the next season in a starting role. Their efforts have impacted the program's march toward championships and the NCAA Tournament. They have been part of a winning tradition, and we wish the best for them.

Green added that Beecher is in position to graduate in less than four years and plans to seek job opportunities immediately.

As for Antic, we suspect she'll start scoring immediately, because few can put the ball in the basket more regularly - or with more style..During the 2010 European Division B Championships, Antic averaged more than 25 points per game and was named the tournament's most valuable player.

Antic is more than just a gunner, though, and she displayed a full array of skills during her two seasons at Liberty. Last year, in addition to averaging 10.2 points per game she ranked second among Lady Flames in rebounding (6.3 rpg), assists (74) and steals (42) and led the team in average minutes played (28.4).

She didn't just get it done on the court at Liberty, either. Like Beecher, Antic made the 2010-11 Big South Presidential Honor Roll. Seven Lady Flames basketball players received the honor; the others were Brittany Campbell, Carra Coy, Terika Lunsford, Kittery Maine and Rachel McLeod.

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