by Ed LeFurge, Communications Intern
Coming into the 2013-14 season, the Temple women's basketball team didn't have much of an identity.
In every sport, at every level, each team has a player who is seen as the face of the team. With their keys players from the season before, Victoria Macaulay
and Sally Kabengano
leaving, it left the Owls with questions marks around which player that would be.
The Owls shortly found that player to be their freshman point guard Feyonda Fitzgerald
"She's the type of kid when things are not going well for us, she feels like she needs to step up, and she's going to try to put the team on her back; that's just her personality," said Temple's head coach Tonya Cardoza
said. "She's a fighter; she doesn't want to lose at anything."
Cardoza is right-- Fitzgerald doesn't like losing, and quite frankly, isn't used to it. In her days at Lake Taylor High School, Fitzgerald led her team to two state championships, while also setting a state tournament scoring record with 96 points in three games.
Fitzgerald seems to be continuing her success at Temple as well. Last season's VHSCA AAA Girls' Hoops State Player of the Year is continuing to acquire accolades. In only the first few weeks of the season, Fitzgerald has already been named American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week, Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week, and OwlSports.com Athlete of the Week.
Looking at the numbers, Fitzgerald is ranked among some of the American Athletic Conference's best. She ranks 10th in assists per game with 3.8, 14th in free throw percentage with 73.8%, seventh in three point percentage with 35.2%, fourth in minutes played per game with 33, and most importantly sixth in points per game with 16.2.
Many think this is just the beginning for Fitzgerald, as the Freshman of the Year buzz has started already, while her coach sees a lot of potential in her.
"I love that about her, that she's a fighter, and she's a competitor. She does not want to lose," Cardoza said, "She is only going to get better. I think once she starts to understand the college game, once she understands how to control us on offense, and once she learns how to sit down and guard people, she's going to be a great player, definitely."
When asked about her success so far, Fitzgerald's answer was simple: "I'm just playing basketball."