Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Temple Announces Four Newcomers For Owls' First Season in the American

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA -- While Temple coach Tonya Cardoza is off at meetings at the new American Athletic Confetence, the former football chunk of the Big East with additional newcomers such as the Owls for all sports, she has announced four newcomers to join the the team in it inaugural season of competition.

Here is a copy of the Temple release. The Guru is posting here for a better presentation without photos than would appear on Philahoopsw.com but remember coverage of the competitive Philadelphia/Suburban NCAA Women's Summer Basketball League starting June 15 will be over there. The draft is May 29. Contact David Kessler for further information at deucedbk@comcast.net

Four incoming recruits will join Temple women's basketball for the 2013-14 season as the Owls make their debut in the American Athletic Conference. Feyonda Fitzgerald (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor), Safiya Martin (Fayetteville, Ga./Sandy Creek), Taylor Robinson (St. Louis, Mo./Ladue Horton Watkins) and Mama Traore (Mali, Africa/Burlington County CC) have all committed to Temple for next season.

Fitzgerald, a 5-7 guard, recently led her Lake Taylor Titans to their second state title by setting the state tournament scoring record with 96 points in three games. The previous record belonged to Kara Lawson who went on to star at Tennesee and in the WNBA. Among many other honors she garnered in her senior season, Fitzgerald was named the VHSCA AAA Girls Hoops State Player of the Year in Virginia, the All-Tidewater Girls Basketball Player of the Year and the Virginian-Pilot Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She was also the Eastern Region Player of the Year and the Eastern District player of the year for a second time after averaging 22.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. In addition to being a standout at Lake Taylor, Fitzgerald played for the Boo Williams AAU team.

Martin, a 6-4 center, led her Sandy Creek High School team to the state tournament for a second straight year as a senior, coming up just one point shy to Columbia High School in the championship game. She was named Class AAAA Honorable Mention All-State by the Georgia Sportswriters Association as a senior, and was named to the all-conference second team as a junior. Martin also played for the Georgia Pearls AAU squad.

Also a 6-4 center, Robinson was the Suburban East Player of the Year as a junior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School after averaging 20 points and nine rebounds per game. She returned to dominate once again in her senior year and led the team to a conference championship averaging 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds heading into the district playoffs. Robinson, who also played for the Midwest Elite AAU team, was nominated to play in the 2013 McDonald's All-American Games.

Traore, a native of Mali, Africa, joins the Owls after playing two years at Burlington County Community College. As a sophomore at BCC, she averaged 19.8 points, 13.4 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and shot 46 percent from the field on her way to being named to NJCAA Region 19 Player of the Year. A 6-1 center, Traore led the team to a 22-7 record and the Garden State Athletic Conference championship. Before coming to the states, Traore was a member of the under-18 and under-20 African Championship winning team in 2006. She joined the Mali senior team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as the country made its first-ever appearance in women's basketball.


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