Heller named assistant at Jax St.

Jacksonville State women’s basketball coach Rick Pietri completed his Gamecock coaching staff on Monday with the addition of Ali Heller as assistant coach.

Heller joins the JSU staff after serving two seasons as a graduate assistant at Lynn University, located in Boca Raton, Fla. She got her feet wet in the coaching circles under the tutelage of Niki Washington at Lynn, who was named the Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year last season after guiding the Fighting Knights to an 18-win season. Lynn earned a spot in the 2013 NCAA Division II Tournament.

While at LU, Heller assisted with daily practices, recruiting, film exchange, condition and weight training. Heller also oversaw the program’s community service activities.

"Ali (Heller) is a sharp, mature and focused young coach who came highly recommended to me by people I trust," said head coach Rick Pietri. "She had a positive impact at Lynn this past year in helping lead them to the NCAA Division II Tournament berth. I look for her to have a positive impact on our program as well."

Heller was a four-year letterwinner at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. and competed in over 90 games as a Bronc and amassed over 450 points in her career. During her junior year she earned the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 6th Player of the Year Award while averaging eight points a game, 1.14 assists per contest and posting a stellar .433 3-point field goal percentage. She ranked in the nation’s top-10 in 3-point field goal percentage and received the team’s most improved player award.

Off the court, Heller helped coordinate several of the team’s extra-curricular activities including the Rider University 5K Charity Run, a Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Walk and numerous youth basketball clinics at various local elementary schools.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-native prepped at St. Andrews High School and was a three-year letterwinner with the Scots and earned Florida State honorable mention and all-county first team honoree during her career.

She graduated in May 2012 from Rider with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

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