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Martin named NAIA and WBCA/Kodak All-American
By Taylor Hereford
Director of Marketing
|BPC Senior Monique Martin shows off her most recent awards, including the 2007 Women’ Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Eastman Kodak Company All-America Basketball Team membership award for the NAIA. (Photo by Taylor Hereford)
MOUNT VERNON – The honors continue to pour in for senior guard Monique Martin.
On March 14, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Eastman Kodak Company announced that Martin was named to the 2007 Kodak/WBCA All-America Basketball Team for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
“I’m excited to be chosen as one of the best in the nation,” said Martin. “There are some very good girls that have been chosen.”
Nominated through the WBCA by head coach Sheila Simmons, Martin was among 28 finalists from the NAIA’s six regions. From those finalists, the top ten players in the country were selected to the team.
“This year’s Kodak/WBCA All-America Team for the NAIA truly stands above the rest in women’s basketball,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “We congratulate these student-athletes for their dedication and perseverance in taking women’s basketball to another level.”
Martin, from Thomson Ga., averaged 29.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game for the Barons (17-12, 9-12 SSAC) this season. She also averaged 1.7 assists and 3.7 steals.
In addition to being given the WBCA honor, Martin was also named by the NAIA as a Division I first team All-American.
“Monique was the most consistent player on our team this season,” said Simmons. “She led us in scoring and rebounding and was close to getting a double double in each game that she played. She led the conference in steals, which is a testament to how well she fit into our coaching style.”
Despite the excellent play on the court and all the honors she has garnered this season, Martin wasn’t immune to adversity. With the Barons in contention for another Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) title, Martin sustained a foot injury in the second half of a Jan. 25 home game against then-No. 3 Lee University.
With Martin out for the remainder of the regular season, the Barons lost eight of the last nine games. During that stretch, Martin may not have been able to be an influence on the court, but found other ways to play a role on the team.
“Injuries come with the game of basketball,” said Simmons. “The timing of her injury was disappointing, because she was playing some of the best ball of her career. She handled the injury well, however, and didn’t just sit back. She became a very vocal team captain from the bench, which was something I was pushing her to do all season.”
The Barons managed to earn the eighth seed in the Women’s SSAC Tournament, and Martin was able to make her return to the court; however, the team eventually lost in the first round to Lee, 67-56.