Women’s basketball prepares for 2019-20 season
Bulls held first practice on Thursday with roster of young talent
The 2019-20 women’s basketball season has officially begun, so it’s time to take a look at what this Bulls team has to offer.
The defending conference champions held their first official practice Thursday. With their first regular season game just over a month away, the Bulls are looking to carry over their success from last season with a new roster of freshmen recruits from across the globe and their head coach entering her eighth season.
The Bulls welcome freshman forward Loren Christie from Hertfordshire, England this season. Christie played in high school at Barking Abbey School, where she averaged 16.1 points, 2.2 blocks per game, 2.8 steals and 8.4 rebounds her senior year. The Bulls also found a place for freshman guard Dyaisha Fair from Rochester, NY. Fair played high school ball at Edison Tech, averaging 33.5 points per game. With 51 points, she set the school record for most points in a game.
Freshman center Elea Gaba comes from Dresden, Germany and played high school basketball at Sportgymnasium Chemnitz, where she helped her team reach first in the German Championship. Gaba had the opportunity to represent Germany at the 2019 U18 Women’s European Championship, averaging 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
Freshman guard Jessika Schiffer of Iserlohn, Germany also joined the roster. Schiffer played her high school seasons at Deutschhaus Gymnasium and represented Germany at the 2019 U19 Women’s European Championship where she averaged 7.1 points and 2.1 assists per game. Schiffer also represented Germany at the 2019 U20 Women’s European Championship, averaging 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
The team is young, with only three upperclassmen –– including one senior –– on the roster. With the addition of four new faces to the program, the team is looking to add more energy to the lineup.
“Young people have energy and we’re the type of team that would make a mistake but go, ‘We're not dwelling on the past,’” said sophomore forward Adebola Adeyeye.
Senior forward Summer Hemphill will play a big role for the Bulls this season. Coming off an extremely successful junior season, Hemphill is expected to produce big numbers. Last season, Hemphill set a career high in points (14.5), rebounds (10.3) and minutes (36.6).
Hemphill will also be taking on a leadership role from departing player and former team leader Cierra Dillard this season. Hemphill’s teammates say they look up to her and her coaching staff is excited for her to set an example.
“She’s our backbone,” Adeyeye said.
Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack is excited to work with the young team, saying their youth only makes them more energetic.
Coming off a successful season coaching reigning MAC champions and making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament after getting knocked out by the second-seed Connecticut, Jack has high expectations for this season.
“There’s always a big expectation, always win better than we did last year and we always want to do better than we’ve ever done.”
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