Senior Knights

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – From where they grew up to how long they’ve been a Knight, the seven members of the UCF women’s basketball senior class are all different.


They hail from the Sunshine State, from out of state. Some even grew up overseas.


Two started their UCF careers five years ago. Three became Knights four years ago. A pair came later, transferring in before last season.


They’ve used those differences to help UCF do something special - win. A lot.


Five of them – Nyala Shuler, Fifi Ndour, Tolulope Omokore, Jamesha Paul and Kayla Thigpen – have been part of three consecutive 20-win seasons, the first time that UCF has accomplished the feat in its Division I era.


Lawriell Wilson and Sydnee McDonald joined the Knights prior to the 2017-18 and have helped UCF match its most Division I wins in back-to-back seasons.


Shuler, an Orlando native, wanted to play for her hometown team. Sidelined with an injury her freshman year in 2014-15, the 6-foot forward used the next four years to climb the career charts in both rebounds and blocks. She is the only Knight in school history to have 800 rebounds and 80 blocks.


Injuries kept Omokore and Ndour on the bench for a historic 2017-18 campaign, but both have put their names in the UCF record book. As a freshman, Omokore pulled down 20 rebounds – tied for the eighth-most in a single game at UCF. Ndour joined the UCF career top 10 in blocks this season with 81 (and counting).


Down to two post players last season, Thigpen, who stands 5-feet 8-inches, moved out of her natural position as a guard to play as a forward last season. Back on the wing this season, she’s UCF’s second-leading scorer.


After three seasons coming off the bench, Paul has nearly tripled her career starts with 25 this season. She single-handedly sparked UCF’s rally in the season-opening win at Pitt, scoring six of UCF’s 13 points to cut a double-digit deficit down to two points heading into halftime.


Wilson joined the Knights after an outstanding two-year career at Tallahassee Community College. In her two seasons with the Black and Gold, she has provided a spark for the Knights on several occasions, including coming off the bench to score seven points and swipe two steals to help UCF earn its fourth consecutive win over Temple.


In the second game of the season, McDonald hit six of her nine shots from beyond the arc – a blistering 66.7 percent that tied for the ninth-best single game three-point field goal percentage. Known for her stellar three-point shooting, she has stepped up defensively for the Knights this season and her 32 steals are the fourth-most on the squad.


The close-knit group will be recognized on the court following the Saturday’s game against Tulane.