LSU women’s basketball standout Danielle Ballard has been cleared to play for the first time this season and is expected to take the court Thursday night when the Lady Tigers host Vanderbilt at 8 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“We’re excited for Danielle to rejoin her teammates on the floor,” LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said in a university news release. “She has worked extremely hard and is ready for game competition.”
Ballard was suspended from LSU’s first 14 games because of a violation of unspecified team rules. The Lady Tigers went 7-7 without her, 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
There was no word whether Ballard would start against the Commodores (8-6, 0-2 SEC).
LSU’s top returning player, Ballard was a preseason All-SEC first-team selection. She averaged 10.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game during her sophomore season.
The 5-foot-9 junior shined brightest during the Lady Tigers’ run to a second straight NCAA tournament Sweet 16 appearance.
She recorded double-doubles in each of LSU’s three NCAA tournament games, averaging 23.3 points and 14.0 rebounds per contest. The last LSU player to record three straight double-doubles before that was All-American center Sylvia Fowles during the 2008 NCAA tournament.
During her freshman season, Ballard averaged 12.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. She also recorded 100 steals, setting a single-season school record and ranking No. 2 nationally with 2.9 steals per game.
The game will be televised on the SEC Network and can be heard locally on WBRP-FM 107.3 or in the Geaux Zone at LSUSports.net.