From now until the WNBA draft on April 11, 2011, Swish Appeal will be providing you with information, quotes and audio clips on some of the top prospects. We hope you enjoy them, and they help you prepare for the new crop of WNBA players entering the league this summer!
Jantel Lavender made that statement in the title when she was recently named to the AP All-American team for the second consecutive year. Ohio State had an up and down year, and during the regular season, some questioned Lavender as a leader and dominant player, as the team faltered. She proved down the stretch however, that she was in fact, a great leader and showcased her talents as Ohio State went on an incredible run that gave them the Big Ten tournament and an NCAA run that ended with a tough loss to Tennessee.
A legit 6'4", Jantel Lavender spent most of her Ohio State career with her back to the basket, fine tuning an array of post moves. When injuries forced the Buckeyes to go to a bigger lineup this year, Lavender was able to display her talents facing the basket as well. An absolutely dominating force down the stretch, Lavender earned first team All-American recognition for the second straight year, while becoming the first women's player from the BCS conferences (Big Ten, Big East, Big 12, ACC, SEC or Pac-10) to win four conference player of the year awards.
STATISTICAL STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
- Ohio State's All-Time leading scorer with 2,818 points
- Big 10 conference All-Time leading rebounder with 1,422 rebounds
- Averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game her sophomore, junior and senior seasons
- Shot over 52% for her career from the floor
- Member of USA Basketball, winning gold with the 2009 University Games team
- Never achieved the expected success on the team level, as Ohio State didn't advance far in NCAA tournaments
STRAIGHT FROM THE PLAYER'S MOUTH
" I really love this game and I want to get as much out of it as I can in the years that I am able to play. I think that you go hard or you go home. My teammates and coaches have helped me and all of the records that are being broken are a combination of everybody and what we put into the program."
"Play hard and have fun with the game. Realize that it is a blessing to play and have the opportunity to go to college for free. Relish every moment that you have here and don't think to the future. Always live in the present."
WHAT THE COACHES SAY
As an assistant coach at Ohio State for the last six years, Debbie Black has seen a lot of great talent pass through, both for and against the Buckeyes. I talked to her about her graduating star center, Jantel Lavender.
FROM ELSEWHERE ON THE 'NET
Jantel Lavender Senior Year Tribute by Big 10 Network