April 13, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Nine of the 14 members of the UCF women's basketball team earned a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during 2008, highlighting the Knights academic success in the classroom. In addition, the 2009 C-USA Tournament champions were also given the Most Improved Team GPA Award by the Office of Academic Services for Student-Athletes (ASSA) at a banquet last Thursday night.
"We are extremely proud of the efforts of our players in the classroom," said second-year head coach Joi Williams. "While we strive to be a championship program on the court, we also challenge our players everyday to give that same effort in the classroom. Our coaching staff preaches the importance of education, and we want our players to be successful and give their all in all aspects of their collegiate lives. Their success this season in basketball and in the classroom shows us they are accepting that challenge both on and off the court."
The nine UCF players that earned a 3.0 or above in 2008 were: Senior graduate school student Jessica Hall (Tallahassee, Fla.), junior Marcquitta Head (Conley, Ga.), sophomores Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.), Amber Kirkpatrick (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Leah Paige (Atlanta, Ga.), Jasmine Stovall (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Marshay White (Rochester, N.Y.) and freshmen Racine Davis (Plantation, Fla.) and Ashia Kelly (Kilgore, Texas).
Under the guidance of Sarah Hill, Assistant Director of ASSA, the program also has a single-year APR score of 1000. Serving as an advisor to the players on the women's basketball team, Hill has played a pivotal role in the success of the Knights in their academics.
"Watching these young ladies succeed to this degree in the classroom makes me very proud," said Hill. "They should all feel a strong sense of accomplishment for their hard work and subsequent positive results. Student-athletes at this level face a challenging schedule and a difficult task in juggling their numerous responsibilities on and off the court, and these young players have done an impressive job grasping the importance of time management and diligence, and it has paid off with their success in all areas."
On the court, UCF won the Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship this season and earned the program's first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 1999. One of the youngest teams in the nation, the squad won 15 of its last 21 games, including four games in four days to claim its first C-USA tournament title.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.