Feb. 2, 2005
By Lauren Williams, FSU Sports Information
Florida State’s Ganiyat Adeduntan is one of many reasons the Seminole women’s basketball team is off to one of its best starts in school history. The 6-foot-1 junior guard is having a standout year, doubling her previous season averages and career-bests in almost every statistical category. While the success of this year’s squad may come as a surprise to some, it’s certainly no surprise to the players themselves, who have worked very hard, for a very long time, to put themselves into this position.
“We’ve been working hard since the end of last year’s postseason,” Adeduntan said. “We’ve definitely put the time in, so it’s not really a surprise to us to be where we are at right now.”
Adeduntan attributes her success and the success of the team to not only a solid work ethic, but the program’s new system and most importantly – team chemistry.
“We’re the closest that we’ve ever been since I’ve been here,” Adeduntan said. “We’re friends on and off the court and I think that definitely helps us out because we know everybody’s going to come out ready to play every game.”
The team’s preparation is evident. In fact, in three straight overtime victories, a different Seminole led the team in scoring. In the dramatic overtime win over then-No. 6 North Carolina, it was Adeduntan’s turn and she was phenomenal. In clearly her best all-around performance of her career, Adeduntan scored a career-high 26 points, grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and also snagged a career-high five assists. She earned ACC Player of the Week honors for that performance.
“It is the hard work that is making the difference,” Adeduntan said. “Of course the new system has helped us out because of the kind of players we have. I think, personally, I’m a lot more aggressive this year. My defense has definitely gotten better and using that, it helps me get into the flow of the game offensively. I’m still continuing to grow on the offensive end, trying to be aggressive all the time.”
G-Mo, as she is known around the basketball family, is third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game and is first in rebounding at 6.8 boards per contest. The only Tribe member to start every game this season, Adeduntan has been a force on the boards, leading the team 10 times, including five, 10+ rebounding games. Adeduntan also leads the team with three double-doubles this season.
“I’ve always been able to penetrate and shoot the long ball,” Adeduntan said. “I feel like sometimes people just look at me like a shooter so I have to be able to do both on a consistent basis so I don’t get played as just a shooter.”
While her accomplishments this season are many, they are not limited to the basketball court. Adeduntan, a two-time member of the ACC All-Academic Honor Roll, was recently accepted to the FSU School of Nursing and has started her coursework. Although she is not sure what area she will work in, she has known for a long time that nursing is definitely an interesting and viable career option.
“Getting into nursing school is a memorable thing for me right now,” Adeduntan said. “It’s my first semester in it and it’s getting harder as I go every day. I was just telling one of my teammates that I go to class and actually want to learn because it is what I want to do.”
Her love for the field came from her father, Azeez, who is a vascular surgeon. Adeduntan is interested in combining her love of medicine and her desire to help people into a future career.
“My dad is a surgeon and I’ve always been involved in the health care field,” Adeduntan said. “One day, I was sitting there thinking that I could be a nurse. I researched it and decided it was something I would be pretty good at and what I wanted to do.”
Adeduntan even goes to the extreme of giving advice to her teammates. She is constantly asking her teammates about their symptoms to help determine the problem. Being in the training room before and after practice gives her the chance to apply what she is learning as well as commit medical concepts to memory with visual examples.
“Sometimes I see things I learn about in class,” Adeduntan continued. “If someone’s sick on my team, I can say, `Oh, you may have this,’ and try to diagnose them. I try to remember some of the stuff I learned and put it with what I see here. When you see it, you tend to remember it from class. I’m trying to mix my everyday experiences with that.”