TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (Seminoles.com) – Another exquisite year-end celebration took place on Saturday, April 7, at the second floor of the FSU Basketball Training Center as the Florida State Women’s Basketball program hosted its annual year-end banquet.
In front of several families, friends, boosters, fans and other acquaintances of the program, the Seminoles honored their five outstanding seniors as well as the rest of the team in celebrating a season in which they finished with 25+ wins for the fourth consecutive year.
An array of professionally-made videos highlighted different aspects of the season as attendees feasted on the delicious catering from Andrews. The 1-hour, 15-minute event was highlighted by the honoring of Florida State’s record-setting senior class that set the program mark with 111 wins.
The five seniors – AJ Alix, Ama Degbeon, Shakayla Thomas, Chatrice White and Imani Wright – each accepted awards while taking part in pre-recorded acceptance speeches where they talked about how much they’ve grown and how much the coaching staff, support staff and fans have meant to them.
Alix received the Matt Schmauch Leadership Award, stepping into the role of point guard in her first season and thriving. As a graduate transfer, Alix was able to play right away in her final season and did an excellent job running the team and setting an example for her teammates. Alix became a Nancy Lieberman Award Top 10 Candidate and was just the second Seminole to pick up 200+ assists in a season.
Degbeon was given the Alicia Gladden Defensive Award. The senior from Germany waited patiently to fulfill a starting role and excelled on the defensive end, becoming FSU’s best post defender who could also guard seamlessly at the top of the key. Degbeon was exemplary as a senior, earning a spot on the All-ACC Academic Team.
Thomas and Wright shared the Sue Galkantas Offensive Award for their tremendous scoring prowess. Both student-athletes were named Associated Press and WBCA All-Americans, and each produced memorable single-game performances and shouldered the offensive load.
White won the Ronalda Pierce Heart Award, exuding the same character traits for the former player who the award is named after. White, a Shelby, Neb., native, was a Lisa Leslie Award Watch List member and finished with 54 blocked shots to tie for the ninth-most in a season at FSU.
The Seminoles will be tasked with replacing their starting five, all seniors, from this past season. FSU’s current 2018-19 roster does not have any seniors, but returns talented rising junior guards Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk, along with rising redshirt junior forward Kiah Gillespie.
Other key returnees will include rising redshirt sophomore Iho Lopez, sophomore Savannah Wilkinson and redshirt freshman Sayawni “Say Say” Lassiter.
The nation’s fourth-ranked freshmen class will provide a big boost to next year’s team and includes four talented guards in Amaya Brown, Morgan Jones, Kourtney Weber and Izabela Nicoletti along with forward Valencia Myers.