Her nickname is “Lady Shaq,” her head coach has called her the “fruits of labor” and “a force to be reckoned with,” and she is every one of those things. Since earning her first start as a CSU Ram against Wyoming on Jan. 26, where she recorded a double-double, junior forward Amaka Uzomah has become the soulful vocal leader on a team that has desperately needed one since the season’s opening tip in Cedar Falls, Iowa, last November.
Now, with only four games remaining in 2008, Uzomah wants to steal a win from the 24th ranked Wyoming Cowgirls in tonight’s Border War in Laramie, Wyo.
“I want to improve (from the previous Border War), that’s my goal.” Uzomah said. “I want to make it 20 boards and 15 points, ya know? I wanna beat Wyoming, and they are beatable. BYU has beat them, TCU has beat them, Utah has beat them, and we saw the film on them and know they’re beatable-It’s about who wants it all in the final five to six minutes.”
With a season that hasn’t gone the way anyone would have planned, Uzomah believes that the law of averages will remain true in Fort Collins that and a win is bound to be in sight.
“Now we’re starting to gel, our triangle is starting to work, we’re going through guards and post plays to where we’re working on our own,” Uzomoah said. “The season’s been hard, ya know, we’re 2-23 and haven’t had a (conference) win. They say if you start losing, you’re bound to have a win fall in your lap, so somehow it has to come apart and we can get one more win before the season is up.”
Uzomah isn’t used to losing. A native of Houston, Texas, she played basketball her freshman and sophomore seasons at nearby Blinn College, where she and current CSU teammate Britney Minor helped lead the Buccaneers to a second place finish in the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association Regional Tournament.
After her sophomore season at Blinn, Uzomah was heavily recruited by the majority of schools in Louisiana, the Sunbelt Conference, Marshall University and Denver, but she
ultimately selected CSU because of its hospitality.
“It was the girls who I stayed with when I came in on my visit. They were telling me how they needed players with only four returning players.and they’re comfort,” she said. “You have to have team chemistry when choosing a school and I wasn’t sure about the other options, but here you could embrace the girls.”
While the 2007-2008 season has been one of disappointment on the playing court, two things with the CSU women’s basketball team remain true, every member of the team loves the other like a sister, and Amaka Uzomah will keep her team focused until the final buzzer sounds in Las Vegas.
Sports writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.
Breakout with mug:
Food: Beef fajitas
Movie: Coach Carter
Song: ‘Low’ – Flo Rida
TV Show: Nip Tuck
Band: Boyz II Men