When she was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame at the young age of 28, Shalee Lehning had just resigned her latest collegiate coaching position as the associate head coach at the University of Colorado a few months earlier.
That was October 2015.
Since the age of 6, Lehning had played basketball and succeeded at every level -- middle school, high school, college and professionally.
Then, injuries forced an early retirement from the WNBA at the age of 25, and Lehning took her skills into the coaching ranks, quickly rising to be among the most highly-regarded assistants with the likelihood of a future head coaching opportunity at the Division I level.
That October day in Wichita at her induction ceremony, Lehning said she was grateful to her family, friends, coaches and teammates for all the success for which she had been a part.
But she also hinted at what would lay ahead in her immediate future.
I've had people ask me what I wanted for my legacy, and that sometimes is tough to answer," she said that day. "I want to be remembered for playing with passion, being a great teammate and giving everything I had."
But she expanded on that further in an entirely different way.
"My legacy today would be to strive every day to give glory to God, because he's got a (long) shelf life," she stated.
In essence, she was waiting to see what would be written about the next chapter of her life.
At the time, she moved to Laramie, Wyo., where her brother, Matt, and his family resided. She took up residency with them and spent one year working on a master's degree in theological studies from Sherpherds Theological Seminary through the West Institute.
After securing that degree, Lehning remained in Laramie and went to work at the University of Wyoming athletic department, serving as an academic coordinator and learning specialist. After two years of providing assistance to student-athletes, another career path change has arrived, again a result of her deep and abiding Christian faith.
This will be the next chapter in the life of Shalee Lehning, one of Kansas' all-time great athletes, who during her career in high school and college, could easily be recognized when people simply said her first name.
Now, in relative anonymity, Lehning, who will turn 31 in late October, is heading to Dresher, Pa., a small community about 15 miles north of Philadelphia where she will serve a one-year internship with a non-profit, Christian organization, Harvest, USA.
According to Lehning, it is an organization that is biblically-based and works to assist people of all ages who deal with gender and sexuality issues.
"It will give me an opportunity to help people who come to this ministry and are seeking help," Lehning said in a Thursday morning interview as she sped down the I-70 freeway through Kansas City headed east. "There are bible studies, training programs, seminars where we can help people who have specific needs."
While Lehning doesn't have any plans beyond the next 12 months, she's comfortable with her latest decision to follow her heart, and follow her faith.
"It's a dream I've always had was to help people, and I feel this is what I'm meant to do right now," Lehning said.
Like many people across the spectrum of society, Lehning said she had her own struggles with different things she faced in her life.
"How to be an athlete and a role model could be challenging at times," she said. "For me, it was how do I live out my faith and find myself. We all have different relationships and there can be struggles, so this has been on my heart."
Even with all the success that she had enjoyed, Lehning said there are times where she is still trying to figure out who she is.
"The injury that caused me to retire from playing professional basketball was the most devastating thing that had happened to me," Lehning said of her ACL tear midway through the 2011 (her third) season with the Atlanta Dream. "My identity had always been as a basketball player. I had realized my dream of playing professionally, and then it was gone. Shalee the basketball player was taken away from me. I wondered 'Who am I? Will people accept me?'"
So now, Lehning hopes to be able to share her story with others who face challenges as well in their own lives.
"I simply want to share what my faith in God has done for me in my life," she said.
She said eventually she hopes to write a book, do public speaking, do presentations at conventions and participate in bible studies. She doesn't know exactly where, when or how that might transpire, but she is content with what her immediate plans are.
"I want to seek truth for others as others did for me," she said. "As I get a little older, I think there's more commonality among us. We're more alike than different. I've been blessed so much in my life, but there were struggles."
Lehning said the three years coaching at Kansas State and one year at Northern Colorado came at a price.
"There was an incredible year of personal growth after leaving K-State," Lehning said. "I still felt empty and was searching for joy in my life."
Leaving the coaching profession after the one year at Northern Colorado was again a most difficult decision for Lehning at that time.
"I think when people put you on a pedestal and think your life is charmed, and I've had a charmed life in many ways, there are things that still make life hard," Lehning said in a moment of reflection. "You have all these things seemingly in your hands, and there's pressure we have to pursue success. And once you taste that success, then you raise the bar and continue to search for more success. In some ways it was exactly an identity crisis."
Lehning said the past three years of being out of coaching has allowed her to slow her life down and evaluate priorities.
"I've been able to take in more moments with the people around me who love me," she said. "What I'm doing now seems more like a real life than what I was doing before."
Part of that slowdown was to avoid social media platforms.
"My mom (Jane) does Facebook, and she'd always keep me up to date on things that seemed important," Lehning said of the potential pitfalls of social media. "I haven't missed it one bit."
She also said that the fast-paced life of coaching -- recruiting, time on the road -- finally had taken a toll.
"By putting things on hold, and giving myself some time, I left with the intention to see what path might follow," Lehning said. "Things all started to add up for me and brought me to a point where I could choose this path and that it might be rewarding."
So when the book closed on the basketball portion of her life in 2015, Lehning had said she didn't know where the next chapter would lead her.
Now she knows what the opportunity for the next 12 months will provide.
"It's been a leap of faith over the last three years," she said. "But it's been more exciting than scary for me. I don't know the next stop, but God has been faithful to me, and I've learned to trust Him and I'm totally at peace right now."