Aug. 17, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Alexa Deluzio and Angel Gray both scored 22 points and the Florida State Women’s basketball team capped off the basketball portion of its foreign tour Monday night, overwhelming the Cape Town Campus All-Stars on its way to a 102-17 win at Cape Town
The win gave Florida State a perfect 3-0 finish in Africa, and capped off weeks of extra preparation for the 2009-2010 season.
“As much as this trip was about us getting better, it ended up being so much more about helping South Africa elevate the presence of basketball around the country,” coach Sue Semrau said. “Our time here has just been so valuable in the development of teamwork, purpose, and chemistry on and off the court.”
Senior guard Angel Gray paced the Seminoles on offense, going 8-for-9 from the field, and provided a spark on the defensive end with five steals.
“It’s very fulfilling, but I know I couldn’t have done it without the help in preseason from the trainers, coaches, and my teammates,” Gray said. “One thing I’ve had to work on is confidence. I’m stronger mentally now, and I’m more comfortable because my coaches have pushed me to have that confidence and I know they’re behind me 100-percent.”
Deluzio hit 10 of her 15 shots, including two 3-pointers. The redshirt freshman sat out a year ago while recovering from knee surgery, but looked calm and comfortable setting up the offense in just her third game as a Seminole.
“I’ve been waiting for this trip since I tore my ACL since it would be the first games I’ve player. ,” Deluzio said. “I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of things, trying to build team chemistry, and this trip has helped so much .”
Alysha Harvin scored 12 points and Christian Hunnicutt added 11 for the Seminoles, who led the entire way over an undermanned Cape Town All-Stars team. For a country who has just recently begun playing basketball competitively, the Seminoles presence on the court helped South African basketball take a big step forward. Only one of 15 South African Universities award scholarships in basketball right now, but there are people on the ground attempting to change that.
“This was a huge step for out efforts to make basketball more prominent in South Africa,” said Bibi Moeketsi, the founder of Hoop City which has been mandated to operate and manage South Africa’s brand new Campus basketball association. “This has opened doors, and this tour alone brought together so many groups in this country to
make it happen. Because these teams haven’t played against teams of real magnitude, they think they’re good. They think they’re at a level that is acceptable to the world. This also means for them, that if they really want to do well and further their education through basketball, they need assistance in elevating their skills.”
African Basketball Community, an institution dedicated to raising awareness about the sport in the Western Cape Region, also helped facilitate Monday night’s game. It’s ABC’s hope that Florida State’s trip to Cape Town will be a kick start to increase participation in the sport, and raise the community’s excitement about the sport.
“Tonight was a lesson in basketball,” said Emmanuel Mavomo, the founder of African Basketball Community. “It’s a new beginning. FSU showed us the way basketball should be done, and hopefully that will be the way South Africa does it in the future.”
Like almost all of the team’s trip to South Africa, the night was about much more than basketball. Teenagers from the Kayamandi Township that the Seminoles held a basketball clinic for Sunday sat in the stands during the game, and received practice jerseys from the players after for the township team to use as uniforms.
“What a blessing it was to have the friends we made Sunday here to watch,” Semrau said. “Seeing the joy in their faces and hearing them do the Warchant during the game gave me goose bumps. It was great to see the willingness of my players to give the kids their practice gear. It was just special for me as a coach.