WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gallaudet University President Alan Hurwitz held a special ceremony for junior women’s basketball player Easter Faafiti (Pittsburg, Calif.) on Thursday, April 22, to congratulate her on her dozen awards she earned during the 2009-10 season. President Hurwitz officially presented Faafiti with her Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Player of the Year award. The nice ceremony was held in the President’s office and attended by Dean of Student Affairs Dwight Benedict and Director of Athletics Michael Weinstock.
“Gallaudet University is very proud of you,” said Hurwitz. “This [CAC POY] is a big honor following in the likes of Ronda Jo Miller and Touria Ouahid. You have a bright future ahead of you.”
Faafiti is the first Bison in nine years, since Ouahid in 2000-01, to take home the top CAC honor. 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.
“Easter is a true leader and is very humble. She has been a great student-athlete on and off the court. She helped to put GU women’s basketball on the map,” said Benedict.
The ceremony for especially touching for Faafiti who was first to point out that none of these accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without her teammates. Faafiti took home countless awards this past season including being named an All-American honorable mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
“I am speechless. This is my first time meeting our new President here at Gallaudet,” said Faafiti. “Without my teammates none of this would be possible. I am really blessed.”
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), scoring (27th), rebounding (30th) and steals (38th).
“We are very proud of Easter and all of her accomplishments she earned this past season. I expect her to have continued success in the future,” said Weinstock.
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 will look to lead the Bison into the NEAC next season and a scary thought for future opponents is that she thinks her game will continue to improve and get better.
“I am ready to step things up next year. I need to continue to improve my game. I will be ready for next year,” said Faafiti.