Posted by Jim on March 10, 2009 at 10:29 am under College | Read the First Comment

Bland earns her third straight first-team honor

Winston-Salem – North Carolina A&T senior forward Brittanie Taylor-James is an entertaining women’s basketball player to watch.

When she shoots free throws, she stands at the foul line, dribbles the ball real low with one hand and then in an instant she pops straight up, extends her right arm with the ball in it before shooting the free throw. After a big shot, she will run just beyond the halfcourt line, turn and get in defensive position and slap the floor with both hands.

Of course there is the occasional yell after she makes a hustle play, and she is never opposed to drawing a few ooo’s and ahh’s with a wicked pump fake of a defender followed by a crossover dribble and a perfect fade away jumper as she holds the shooting pose until it goes in.

But her entertaining routines are not why she was awarded the 2009 MEAC Player of the Year award Monday night at the Benton Convention Center. She won it because in between the showmanship fans have grown to love, Taylor-James can play the game of basketball. Well.

“Brittanie is going to be Brittanie,’’ said N.C. A&T head coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs. “You grow to appreciate that. “But I’ll tell you one thing, Brittanie is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever coached. She came into the off-season wanting to get better and that’s exactly what she did. She got in the weight room, she dropped some weight and she worked on her game. As coaches we like to tell players hard work pays off. But it doesn’t sync in until they see it happen.”

Taylor-James is the third player in the program’s history to win conference player of the year, joining Angela Hill and Malveata Johnson. She didn’t play for the Aggies until the end of the first semester of her sophomore season in 2006. Over her first two seasons, she averaged 13.0 points per game. This season she leads the conference in scoring at 19.5 points per game. She needs just 23 points during the Aggies quarterfinal game on Wednesday to break the school’s single-season scoring record, which is held by Bland who set the mark in 2006-07 with 589 points.

“It’s been an exciting season,’’ said Taylor-James, who also earned first-team honors last season. “When I look back on my basketball career here A&T, l will reflect how much of a better basketball player I became because of coach Bibbs and her staff. I would love to make it complete by winning a championship this weekend.”

Taylor-James and Amber Bland earned first-team All-MEAC honors on Monday as they helped the Aggies capture their second straight MEAC regular-season crown. The two have also been instrumental in the Aggies going 48-14 overall and 30-2 in the MEAC the last two seasons.

Taylor-James scored in double figures 26 times this season, and has reached double figures 66 times in her career. She has scored 20 or more points 13 times this season and she has reached the 30-point plateau in three of her last seven games.

Meanwhile, Bland is making her third straight appearance on the All-MEAC team. The only other player in school history with three first-team All-MEAC honors is Johnson. Bland is the school’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer. She needs just one made 3-pointer to become the all-time leader in 3-pointers made, and she will leave the program with the highest 3-point percentage.

“The wonderful thing about (Brittanie and Amber) is that they can look back one day and truly say they were not only two of the best players to ever play at North Carolina A&T, but they were also two of the best players to ever play in this conference.”





  • daman said,


    She deserves it by the way she played this year. A&T have a great womens basketball program.