Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto

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TCU women’s basketball’s lone first-year student Lauren Heard has made an instant impact in her first season for the Horned Frogs.

Heard’s work ethic and family background have allowed her to be effective immediately and provide efficient and effective minutes off of the bench.

Heard attended Denton-Guyer High School, located just outside of Fort Worth and known for its tremendous athletic programs. She was ranked a four-star recruit and the number four point guard in Texas by Premier Basketball Report. Her brother, Jerrod Heard, plays football at the University of Texas. Heard started at quarterback for the Longhorns during the 2015 season and switched to wide receiver this past season. Having another college athlete int he family helped prepare the incoming Horned Frog.

Jerrod Heard
Photo courtesy: Eric Gay/AP

“She understood what being a D1 athlete was going to be like and the importance of the off-season as well,” TCU head coach Raegan Pebley said.

Pebley added that Heard was able to come in and avoid the typical wall that freshman players hit in terms of conditioning and fatigue in their first offseason.

However, this avoidance was not just because she got to watch her brother go through the rigors of Division 1 athletics.

“Her work ethic is tremendous,” she said. “If you’re a freshman coming in and want to build your identity off of work ethic, then that is going to help your confidence.”

Heard has shown signs of this confidence all season. In her first collegiate game, a preseason scrimmage against Texas Wesleyan, Heard led the team in scoring with 16 points. She also chipped in six rebounds and four assists.

While she has transitioned to a smaller role during the season, only starting two games and mainly serving as the backup point guard, her aggressiveness is felt every time she is on the court. Heard has scored in double-digits six times this season, including a season-high 18 against Texas last weekend.

The Horned Frogs were trailing 27-4 at the end of the first quarter and had a lethargic energy on the court. Heard injected a new energy into the team when she entered, aggressively attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line eight times.

“Sometimes you can’t rely on a shot, sometimes you don’t know how a team is going to play you,” Pebley said. “You can rely on working really hard and she has done that really well.”

No. 24 TCU returns to the court when they travel to face the No. 3 Baylor Bears in Waco Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.