April 21, 2004
The Florida State women’s basketball program celebrated its 2003-04 season with a banquet on Sunday, April 18th at the University Center on the Florida State campus. The entire team was recognized for its excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Athletically, the squad recorded a 15-15 record and a fifth place finish in the ACC and played in its third postseason tournament in the past four years. Academically, the team earned nearly a 3.0 grade point average (2.968) with seven players achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above. The Seminoles averaged more than 15 hours of community service per player this season and once again finished in the top five of the coveted Director’s Cup for Service.
FSU Women’s Basketball prides itself on being a truly holistic program that strives to excel in all aspects of life. As a result, they focus on three key areas to ensure that they winning each day. Known around the office as PSA’s, Coach Sue Semrau has built her program on the foundation of Person, Student, and Athlete. The evening’s program was divided into three segments, celebrating the Person, Student, and Athlete in all of the fine young women who comprise the Florida State women’s basketball program.
Katelyn Vujas, former Seminole basketball player who served as the radio analyst this season, was a guest speaker and she highlighted the “Person” aspect of the program. She spoke about how the program is much more than the X’s and the O’s – it teaches student-athletes to become responsible adults. The Hoop Troop Fan of the Year, Extra Point Club and Varsity Club Membership awards were presented during this segment.
History professor Dr. Maxine Jones, who has had the distinction of teaching many FSU student-athletes over the years, was the guest speaker on the “Student” portion of the program. She spoke about how refreshing it was to work with a program that truly embodied the true intention of the meaning of “student-athlete.” Academic Advisor Kylie Amato joined Dr. Jones in presenting the ACC Academic Honor Roll awards to the deserving players.
The Matthew Schmauch Leadership Award was also presented during this segment. As the women’s basketball academic advisor for four years, Schmauch was more then just a motivator in the classroom. He was a friend and a confidant to players, coaches and staff alike. Senior Lauren Bradley was the recipient of the inaugural Matthew Schmauch Leadership Award, which will be given annually to the women’s basketball player who exemplifies Schmauch’s fine characteristics of leadership.
The “Athlete” section of the program began with a series of highlight videos, followed by an awards presentation by Head Coach Sue Semrau. The following individual awards were presented: Defensive Excellence, Alicia Gladden; Offensive Excellence, Tasheika Allen and Shante Williams; Free Throw Excellence, Lauren Bradley; Rebounding Excellence, Alicia Gladden; Most Improved, Ganiyat Adeduntan; Academic Excellence, Lauren Bradley; Service Award, LaQuinta Neely; Captain’s Award: Tasheika Allen and Lauren Bradley.
Defensive Excellence: Alicia Gladden
The award for Defensive Excellence isn’t always clear by the statistics in the box score because it is not always about recording steals or rebounds, it’s about making sure the opponent doesn’t score points or make big plays. When LaQuinta Neely was lost for the season early in the year, Alicia Gladden stepped up to help fill the void, especially on the defensive end. While ranking second on the team in steals, Gladden also wreaked havoc on the opponent’s most explosive player game after game.
The Offensive Excellence Award, on the other hand, is quite clear when looking at statistics. This year, the award went to two individuals and ironically, one is a senior and one is a freshman. For the second straight year, senior Tasheika Allen led the team in scoring, averaging 13.6 points per game. An ACC second team selection for the second
straight year, Allen led the team in scoring a team-high 12 times. She scored in double figures 21 times, including eight games of 20 or more points and in the Duke game on January 5th, she became the 18th player in FSU history to reach the 1000-point mark and finished with 1,229 career points.
This year, however, Allen had a lot of help in the scoring department. No one stepped up more on the offensive end than freshman Shante Williams, who led the team in ACC scoring at 13.0 points per game while ranking second overall at 10.9 points per game. She scored in double figures in 14 games, including a career-high 20 points vs. Maryland, and led the team in scoring six times. Williams was named honorable mention All-ACC and was a member of the five-person ACC All-Freshmen Team.
Free Throw Excellence: Lauren Bradley
If the game was on the line, you hoped opponents fouled this Seminole because chances were, she was going to sink her free throws. A 75 percent shooter from the line over her FSU career, Lauren Bradley shot a single-season career-best 81 percent from the charity stripe this year to lead all Seminoles as well as rank second in the ACC. She was perfect from the free throw line in 10 games and had a three-game stretch where she averaged 94 percent from the line while averaging 13.0 points per game.
Rebounding Excellence: Alicia Gladden
There’s a lot more to rebounding the ball than jumping up and grabbing it and because of this, the Florida State women’s basketball program gives different awards after each game for boxing out as well as getting offensive and defensive rebounds. Alicia Gladden was by far the most consistent player when it came to these factors. She also met the team goal of boxing out 75 percent of the time.
Most Improved: Ganiyat Adeduntan
The award for Most Improved goes to the player who showed vast improvement physically but also mentally. Grasping the collegiate game, especially at the Division I level, takes a huge commitment on the court and in the film room. Ganiyat Adeduntan, who played in all 30 games and averaged 5.0 points per game, proved as the season progressed that she was ready to take the next step with FSU women’s basketball.
Leadership is important in the success of any project. Captain’s Tasheika Allen and Lauren Bradley provided leadership on the court, off the court and in the classroom and have been shining ambassadors for Florida State University and the Seminole Women’s Basketball program, not only this season, but throughout their Seminole careers.
Service Award: LaQuinta Neely
They say the true measure of a person is not what he or she does, but in what they give. The women’s basketball program places a high priority on getting out in the community and giving back to the city of Tallahassee and the Seminole Community. All of the players are encouraged to put in a certain amount of service each month. When LaQuinta Neely found herself on the sidelines due to injury, she didn’t stop her involvement with the community. In fact, you could often find her spearheading the programs and motivating her fellow athletes.
Academic Excellence Award: Lauren Bradley
Today’s student-athlete has many demands on her time. Being able to balance academics, athletics, a commitment to the community is truly a task. Lauren Bradley, a five time ACC Academic Honor Roll Selection, has been a model student-athlete during her time in the Seminole line-up. Not only has she already completed and undergraduate degree in Criminology, she is also on track to graduate this summer with a Master’s in Sport Management.