April 3, 2008

Red Forward Nets Another Award

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The women’s basketball team has had a couple weeks to reflect on its first round NCAA tournament loss to the No.1-seeded University of Connecticut, but the Red is also still receiving recognition for its achievements.
The Associated Press honorable mention All-America team was announced Tuesday, the same day that UConn defeated Rutgers to advance to the Final Four, and a Cornell women’s basketball player was an honoree for the first time in program history.
[img_assist|nid=29462|title=Rising star|desc=All-American Jeomi Maduka (45) takes the ball down the court in the Red’s Ivy title-netting win over Dartmouth March 16.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Junior forward Jeomi Maduka, who joined UConn’s Charde Houston and 43 other women on the honorable mention team. Maduka, who is also the Red’s first Ivy League Player of the Year as a unanimous first team selection, found out Tuesday night.
“I was very happy,” she said. “I was not expected it at all. I didn’t even know there was an honorable mention [for All Americans]. To see the people who made that list with me; they’re really good.”
Maduka pointed out fellow junior forward Marissa Coleman of the University of Maryland as one of the talented players on the honorable mention list who stood our to her. Before coming to Cornell, Maduka had personally seen future-Terrapin Coleman play when their AAU teams faced off against each other. Since then, while Coleman has garnered praise in the ACC, Maduka has taken over the Ancient Eight.
In the final regular season game of the season, the 6-2 forward became the fifth player in program history to have scored 1,000 points. In addition to her individual accomplishments — finishing the season in the top-3 of the Ivies in scoring (14.1), rebounds (7.6), steals (2.21), field goal percentage (49.8 percent) and defensive rebounds (5.54) — the junior led the team to its first ever Ivy title and NCAA tournament game.
“My teammates … are all so happy [for me],” Maduka said. “A bunch of them were in my last class [yesterday], and they were all congratulating me.”
Though Maduka is excited to be an All-American, life goes on for the junior, as next season is just around the corner.
“I guess [the recognition] gives me a little bit more confidence,” she said. “But I’m just going to try to continue what I’m doing and get better [going into next season].
The women’s All-America honors announcement came a day after sophomore point guard Louis Dale was named to the honorable mention team on the men’s side.