Former Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball star Melissa Gilkey, BSBA’15, completed her first season overseas by helping lead the Virum Vipers to its first Danish Women’s Professional League Championship in 36 years. Gilkey majored in economics & strategy, and marketing.
Gilkey, a 2015 graduate, averaged a team-best 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for Virum in the program’s first season back playing in Denmark’s highest level of basketball. She shot 45.3 percent (130-287) from the field and 83.6 percent (92-110) from the free-throw line, and also connected on 20 three-pointers in 28 games played.
Virum won the championship series 3-2, including a 66-61 victory over Stevensgade in game five on the road. Gilkey averaged 7.8 points per game in the finals, and had 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the 71-57 win in game three.
“I had a fantastic time in Copenhagen and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to play the sport I love at the professional level,” Gilkey said. “With a new country and new team came new challenges, but my time at WashU definitely prepared me for the new experience. Of course it was incredible to end our season, and my career, on such a high note.”
Gilkey earned first-team All-America honors in 2014-15 after leading the Bears in scoring (19.1 ppg), rebounding (8.9) and blocked shots (45). She also earned first-team all-Central Region honors and was named the UAA Player of the Year. Gilkey was one of 10 finalists for the 2015 Jostens Trophy.
One of 13 players in school history to surpass 1,000 career points, she finished her career second on WashU’s all-time scoring list with 1,707 points. Gilkey also ranks third in career rebounds (876), fourth in blocked shots (144) and sixth in free-throw percentage (.785).
“While I’ve been here many Bears have come through Denmark and that has been so much fun,” Gilkey added. “Some were close friends and some were friends of friends, but we were all connected by WashU and I loved that I felt that alumni connection so strongly even in Europe.”
Gilkey announced she will be retiring following her one season in Denmark, and moving to San Francisco this summer to work for Protiviti, a business consulting firm. Until then, she will be traveling and seeing some of the countries through Europe that she didn’t get a chance to see during the season.