BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The UAB women’s basketball team has been highly successful on the hardwood the last few seasons with three consecutives 20-win seasons while finishing tops in the conference in multiple offensive and defensive categories.
The success on the court carried over to the classroom as the Blazers finished the 2019 fall semester with a cumulative team GPA of 3.36. The semester before, the Blazers finished spring 2019 with a 3.47 team GPA in the midst of a busy basketball season which included a trip to the WNIT tournament. They were also recipients of the NCAA Public Recognition Award, which celebrates teams whose academic progress is in the top 10 percent in their respective sports.
This season Rachael Childress and Trista Magee were each named to the District 4 CoSIDA All-Academic Team. Childress also garnered Conference USA All-Academic Team honors.
Last season the team saw three Blazers earn Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medals as Emily Frasco, Sara Rosenfeldt and Deanna Kuzmanic each achieved a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Nine more athletes earned spots on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll by achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The program’s academic success is not surprising, in fact, since head coach Randy Norton came to Birmingham in 2013 the academic success of the women’s basketball team has only increased. When Norton arrived at UAB the women’s basketball team had a combined GPA below 3.0. Each season since he took over, however, those GPAs have increased. The Blazers have now supported a team GPA over 3.0 for nine straight semesters.
This might have something to do with Norton’s philosophy which he preaches to his team so much they can all recite it in perfect harmony: be the best you can be on the court, in the classroom, in the community and in your personal life.
“We have always challenged our players to strive for excellence in everything they do, and they have taken that message to heart” said Norton. “Whether it is on the court in games and practice, in the community, or in the classroom as students, all of our players take pride in giving their best effort. They have carried this mindset on for the past several years and I could not be prouder of them.”