Mercer women's basketball adds former star Means as assistant coach

Means joins the Bears as a coach after leading the team to its first NCAA tournament bid in her last year as a player./(CTSY: Mercer Athletics)

MACON, Ga. -- It seems like Sydni Means' days of impacting the Mercer women's basketball program aren't quite over yet. After graduating a few days ago, Means will be joining the Bears and head coach Susie Gardner as an assistant coach for next season.

Means has played point guard for Mercer for the last four seasons, and leaves the program as one of the most decorated players that Mercer women's basketball has ever seen.

She finished with 686 career assists and 246 steals, both of which place her second behind Stephany Raines on the all-time list at Mercer. She also places second in assists in a season after collected 264 assists her in senior season.

In her last season, Means led the Bears to their first ever Southern Conference tournament championship, and the team's first trip to the NCAA tournament.

Coach Gardner says that the plan for Means to coach didn't develop until about a month ago, but it made perfect sense.

"One day, she casually mentioned that she might want to coach,j" Gardner said. "I had already made a list of intangibles that I was looking for in a coaching staff. Even though Sydni has no experience as a coach, she actually fills so many of the needs on my list. After four years of being a point guard in our program, I am sure she would agree as do I that she was our coach on the floor.”

For Means, she's just thankful for the opportunity to give back to a program that means so much to her, and she's ready to get to work.

“I’m blessed to be given this opportunity,” Means said. “Coach Gardner sees that I can help impact the program in a positive way, and I’m ready to do what it takes to be not only the best coach, but the best person that I can be.”

Means recently graduated with a degree in Communications with a minor in Media Studies from Mercer. This will be her first experience as a head coach.

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