By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Matee Avajon Taking Rutgers To New Heights
By Richard Kent
Updated: January 7, 2005
NEW JERSEY—Matee Avajon is no ordinary freshman for the Rutgers women’s basketball team.As a matter of fact,there is nothing ordinary about her.Check that birth certificate.Maybe she is a senior in disguise.
Avajon is one of the reasons that Rutgers just knocked off the nos. 8,4 and 1 teams in America in Tennessee,Texas and LSU and is about to move into the Top Ten.
The Newark,NJ and Malcolm X Shabazz H.S. native and graduate has played in all 11 games for the Scarlet knights,making 6 starts.She is averaging almost 12.5 ppg,3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists against some of the best competition in the nation.Ever.
She was the subject of one of the hottest recruiting wars in the country last year and she is certainly demonstrating why as a more than ready for prime time freshman.She had 10 points in her first game ever against Rider and then followed it up with 29 against South Dakota State in the Virgin Islands,nearly becoming the fourth true freshman ever at Rutgers to ever accomplish that feat.She had a team high 18 points off of the bench in a loss at Temple and then scored 20 in the upset win at home over Tennessee and Pat Summitt.it was that effort that made Summitt turn her head and comment that Avajon is one of the top freshmen in the country.
She has already been named the Big East Freshman of the Week more than once.And that comes on a team that also features Essence Carson,perhaps the most highly recruited frosh in the country this year and already a star at Rutgers for head coach C. Vivian Stringer.
Head coach Anne Donovan of Seattle of the WNBA was scouting other players when she witnessed the Rutgers 14 point upset win of Tennessee in December,but she was salivating when thinking about the possibilities of Avajon playing point guard in the WNBA in four years.And that comes on a team that features one of the best ever in Olympic star, Sue Bird.
Senior guard Chelsea Newton just shakes her head when she thinks about the accomplishments of Avajon thus far this season.
Matee is fearless and already a crowd favorite with her enthusiasm and mature play on the court.Her name has been chanted many more times than once by the throngs who have treked to the Rutgers Athletic Center to cheer on a team that may end up in the Final Four at the end of this season.If they do there will be a number of reasons.Names like Cappie Pondexter,Newton and Carson,but in no small part it will be related to the play of this former McDonald’s All-American who chose to stay home and play basketball at her State University.Something that the basketball fans of New Jersey should be grateful for.