Women's Basketball Steps Up
The Lady Cardinals have a veteran squad loaded with talented players and are now a legitimate threat to win the CUNY Athletic Conference title.
The rebuilding stage is now over.
York returns four of its five starters from a year ago, including first-team CUNYAC All-Star selection Kadisha Wickham. Wickham had a breakout sophomore season, finishing second in the conference in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game. She was just one tenth of a point away from winning the conference scoring title. She also pulled down 12.6 boards per game and led the conference with 4.0 steals per contest.
“She’s so fast out there that she’s capable of playing any position,” said Coach Brown. “She can shoot the 15-footer, she can post up, she can block shots and she can run the floor well.”
York also returns senior Niya Jarvis. Jarvis has established herself as a team-leader and has developed a reputation as a hard-nosed player. Her ferocity on the court has helped her be one of the conference’s top rebounders over the years. Last season she pulled down nearly nine boards per game, while also scoring 8.2 points per game.
In addition, York will have two of its top shooters returning for their senior season: Maimouna Dabo and Elizabeth Padilla. Dabo was the Lady Cardinals top three-point shooter last season. She was second on the team in scoring, averaging 13 points per game. Padilla was also a three-point threat a year ago, shooting 30 percent from long distance, while averaging nine points per contest.
The only position where York does not have a returning starter is at point guard. However, they have replaced the void with Shadae Rice, who might be their best new addition. “Her basketball IQ is very high,” noted Brown. “She can push the ball well, she can orchestrate the offense—and with her leadership, she can make everyone else around her better.”
Another new addition who could make a big impact is Joanna Josama, a transfer from Borough of Manhattan Community College. “She’s very athletic and she plays well on defense,” said Brown. “She’s very scrappy and will help to pull down rebounds.”
Shayna Smith, a four-year member of the team, will also be a major contributor for York. During her career at York, she’s been a strong rebounder and scorer off the bench.
With Wickham, Josama, Jarvis and Smith playing down low, York has a number of players who can grab rebounds. This should create a lot of second-chance scoring opportunities. Rebounding, according to Coach Brown, will be the strength of her team.
But to get to the next level, the coach says, the Lady Cardinals will have to cut down on their mistakes. “Our turnover ratio has haunted us in the past. I believe that if we can cut down on those turnovers, we will definitely be improved.”
If things break right for the Lady Cardinals they could be raising their first-ever CUNYAC trophy at year’s end.
“A lot of these ladies have been with me since day one,” said Brown. “They know the system and they know what to expect. I really believe that this is the year, with our team’s experience, that we can get to the next level.”
Their home opener will be Wednesday November 17 against the College of New Rochelle at 6:00 p.m.
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