RENO, Nev. – Recently hired Nevada women’s basketball coach Amanda Levens made her first assistant coaching hire with the addition of Laura Gonsalves.
“Laura brings a great deal of knowledge and ability to teach the game,” said Levens. “Having worked together for four years at Southern Illinois, Edwardsville, we are very familiar with building a program together. Laura is an excellent skills coach and will be a great mentor for our front court players.”
Gonsalves, a native of the nearby town of Sparks and a graduate of Reed High School, has worked with Levens previously. She spent four years as an assistant coach on Levens’ staff at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville from 2008-11. During her tenure at SIUE, the Cougars made the transition to Division I and went from five wins in 2008-09 to 18 wins in 2011-12. Prior to SIUE Gonsalves made a few other assistant coaching stops along the way, spending time at Alaska Fairbanks, Western State College and Southern Utah.
“I am delighted to be returning to my hometown and rejoin Coach Levens as a part of the Nevada women’s basketball program,” said Gonsalves. “I grew up going to games in Lawlor Events Center and I am honored to be able to step onto that floor and coach this team with this staff as we compete for a Mountain West Championship.”
Before her coaching career began, Gonsalves enjoyed a vast international playing experience. From 1996 to 2003 she played for teams in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Portugal, China and Switzerland. She was awarded Most Valuable Player honors twice in China National Cup tournaments, where she was one of the first Americans to play basketball as a professional in China.
In college Gonsalves was a four-year starter at Washington from 1991-95 where she posted 28 games in double figures, which ranks 40th all-time at Washington. During her collegiate playing days the Huskies advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times and won the inaugural WNIT Pre-Season Tournament in 1994.
Gonsalves obtained a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Washington in 1995.