YORK, Pa. - For the fifth and final time in Gallaudet University women's basketball history a Bison was named Capital Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year as junior center Easter Faafiti (Pittsburg, Calif.) was bestowed the honor on Tuesday as the conference announced its end of the year awards. Faafiti also earned a spot on the All-CAC first team.
Faafiti is the first Bison in nine years, since Touria Ouahid in 2000-01, to take home the top CAC honor. Ronda Jo Miller was a three-time recipient from 1996-99, the only player to earn the CAC Player of the Year award three consecutive years. Miller and Ouahid are both in the GU Athletics Hall of Fame.
"We are all happy for Easter. She is very deserving of this honor," said Gallaudet coach Kevin Cook, who completed his third season at the helm. "She gave her best effort every minute she was on the court for us this season. The great thing, that not many people know, is that she is a better person then a player. This is quite a way to conclude a wonderful season."
Gallaudet had a breakout season as the Bison posted a 14-12 record, the most wins in a decade, and earned the sixth-seed in the CAC tournament. GU made its first appearance in the CAC tournament since the 2006-07 season. This is the last year for Gallaudet in the CAC as the Bison are leaving for the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) this summer. GU is a charter member of the CAC since the conference formed in 1989.
Faafiti, a junior-college transfer from Pasadena City College, led the CAC in scoring (19.1 points per game), rebounding (11.1 per game), field goal percentage (.597), offensive rebounds (5.1 per game) and was second in steals (3.3 per game) and fourth in defensive rebounds (6.0). Nationally, Faafiti was ranked in several categories among all NCAA Division III women's basketball programs including; field goal percentage (10th overall), rebounding (26th), scoring (27th) and steals (37th). Faafiti was also named the CAC Player of the Week a record four times this season.
"This is a big honor for me and my teammates. What a great feeling to earn this award," said Faafiti, who was shocked and humbled when, told the news of the award on Tuesday. "Everything was new for me when I came to Gallaudet this year. When I stepped on the court I didn't worry about my numbers or awards. I wanted to help push my teammates to get better and for us to win games."
Faafiti is the first Bison to earn all-conference honors since Victoria Crockett was selected to the second team in 2004-05. The last Bison to be selected to the CAC first team was Ouahid in 2000-01. Faafiti becomes the 16th and final Bison to earn All-CAC honors. Over the years, Gallaudet has had 11 first-team honorees and five second-team honorees on the all-conference teams. Miller was selected to the first team all four years she was at Gallaudet.
Marymount University, led by Bill Finney, who captured his CAC-best fifth Coach of the Year award, placed a conference-best three players on the 10-member 2010 All-CAC squad. Finney guided the Saints to their 11th championship in 20 CAC seasons and will retire at the end of the year. University of Mary Washington freshman center Carol Dye was picked as the CAC Rookie of the Year.
All-CAC Women's Basketball honorees from
2009-10 - Easter Faafiti (First Team)
2004-05 - Victoria Crockett (Second Team)
2003-04 - Charity Sanders (Second Team)
2000-01 - Touria Ouahid (First Team)
1999-00 - Ronda Jo Miller (First Team)
Touria Ouahid (Second Team)
1998-99 - Ronda Jo Miller (First Team)
Touria Ouahid (First Team)
1997-98 - Ronda Jo Miller (First Team)
Dawn Birley (Second Team)
1996-97 - Ronda Jo Miller (First Team)
Touria Ouahid (First Team)
1992-93 - Corina Gutierrez (First Team)
1991-92 - Corina Gutierrez (First Team)
1990-91 - Corina Gutierrez (First Team)
Connie Franks (Second Team)