INGOMAR - Gara Beth Self continues to have a spring filled with firsts. She was named first team All-Area and Player of the Year by the Daily Journal, next she was the first signee of new head coach Brooks Donald Williams at University of Louisiana Monroe and finally, she is the first Ingomar girls basketball player in history to sign with a Division 1 college out of high school.
"It means a lot, I mean D1 is like a dream of mine," Self said of her signing. "It's a goal that I've been working hard to get to this opportunity and it just means so much to me."
Self became the first signee of Coach Williams and pointed to several things that steered her in the path of choosing ULM in her next phase of life and basketball.
"I just loved the coaches, I mean their assistant coaches, the head coach, they showed so much hospitality and they were so nice," Self said. "Not that much different from me and I really liked them and that's what sold me."
Self had an illustrious career at Ingomar that included helping the Lady Falcons win three consecutive state championships during her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons.
Self averaged 19.4 points per game for her senior season on the hardwood at Ingomar while averaging 2.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.8 steals per game. She shot 48 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range. Self connected on 137 of 199 from the free throw stripe for Ingomar.
A multi-sport star, Self hit .676 for her Ingomar fastpitch team this spring and led the Lady Falcons in several categories. She batted in the leadoff spot and had 50 hits, 16 RBI while scoring 43 runs. Self hit five home runs, had six triples and recorded seven doubles. She also stole 30 bases in 31 attempts.
Self had an on base percentage of .706 to go with a slugging percentage of 1.135 which translated into a on base plus slugging percentage of 1.841.
Self earned All-Area recognition as she was named the top 2A fastpitch player of the year by the Daily Journal for their Spring Sports Awards. Self will also be awarded the 2A girls basketball player of the year honor for her accomplishments on the court.
Self attributed her work in the classroom as well as on the basketball court as contributing factors to get her to this stage of life as she prepares for the college experience. Self was also named a Lindy Callahan scholar athlete this spring to go with her accomplishments in athletics.
"I'm definitely ready for college in the classroom, but on the court we played at such a high level of intensity that I feel like that will really get me ready (for basketball)," Self said. "Obviously, it will be a big jump from high school to Division 1, but I think that with our program and the intensity we played with and practiced with, I think that really helped to build me up for this moment."