If you chose to stay home rather than help Pack the House for the University of Louisville-Utah women’s basketball game, you missed a significant event: the unveiling of a future Cardinal star.

Fans are going to love Shelby Harper.
Fans are going to love                 Shelby Harper

Before today, Shelby Harper, a 5-foot-4 guard from Allen County, wasn’t even listed on the roster on the U of L web site. She’s a walk-on, had seen less than 10 minutes of playing time in her team’s first six games.

Well, surprise, welcome to prime time. She has speed, smarts and sizzle to complement her point guard skills and defensive intensity.

Remember Roger Burkman and his defensive intensity? Too long ago? How about Andre McGee’s relentless pace? The female version is Shelby Harper.

Coach Jeff Walz didn’t use Harper in the first 20 minutes with Utah building a 28-22 lead. He didn’t dare take her out in the second, with her inspirational play leading to a 60-55 win.

Make no mistake. Becky Burke is probably the go-to player, scoring 20 points in this one. But little Shelby Harper, a  perky blonde dynamo is quickly going to become a fan favorite.

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Official attendance was 8,213. Read Sonja’s take on the game here.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

7 thoughts on “Louisville’s Shelby Harper, Future Star”
  1. Two comments:
    1. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why Reed didn’t get in sooner. When she came in the offense improved by leaps and bounds (pun intended).
    2. Utah’s spacing was like wide, wide Dixie Highway. They were so far apart that when they got the ball inside we had no one close enough to help out. It turns out the way we stopped them was similar to Denny Crum using a box and one (???? YES he did!) against a WKU point guard the second half something like 20 years ago. That’s when Western had Johnson and another stud forward. Their point guard had something like one point at the half but he was almost to double figures in assists. Denny put a chaser on him and he could no longer get the ball to the big ‘uns. We won. Harper did it without being a chaser. To borrow a football adage from Bobby Layne (damn, I’m old) “Even God needs three seconds to complete a pass.”

  2. Sonja: I forgot to mention I really am 5’8″ but only in the morning. by night time I’m a touch under.

  3. Unfortunately, Reid’s defense wasn’t what it needed to be in the first half to gt her a second half start. She has so much potential but needs to take the game seriously on both ends of the court. Walz just won’t tolerate slacking off on the defensive end, I don’t blame him and she’s just a sophomore…plenty of time to learn and adapt.

    1. Or,C.B…it could be all Kragthorpe’s fault..whatever. Reid’s lack of impressive defense in the firt half, your height, the breakup of the Beatles and Charlie Strong not committing on Sunday. Maybe Bobby Lutz could take over the football team…

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