Photo Courtesy of UR Athletics

Although the UR Women’s Basketball season concluded almost a month ago, freshman Alexandra Leslie has still continued to rack up awards.  Last week, the Lancaster, PA native was named the Division III Rookie of the Year by d3hoops.com. Out of about 5,000 Division III female basketball players in the country, Leslie was the only individual chosen for the award.

“When I got the award, I really couldn’t believe it,” Leslie said. I was so excited and didn’t understand the scale of it—my coaches had to tell me what it meant.”

The award is the latest in a number of honors Leslie has received following her standout first season as a Yellowjacket.  Impressively, she was also named UAA Rookie of the Year, First Team All-UAA and was the only freshman in the country to an All-American Honorable Mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.  Additionally, she has become the first freshman and only the eleventh player in Rochester history to be named to the All-American team for women’s basketball.

“It’s the most insane feeling: it’s always been my dream since I was a kid to be an All-American, and I wasn’t expecting it at all when I got the award,” Leslie said. “I was just shocked.”

As a major contributor for UR this season, leading the team with 15.2 points-per-game, Leslie was the only player averaging double figures.  She also led the team in a number of other categories, including total points and rebounds.  Her free throw shooting percentage of .831 was second highest on the team, a notable feat, considering that she took almost three times as many foul shots—148—as the next closest player.

“It’s definitely going to be different next year,” Leslie said. “I think it’s going to be better for our team overall because [other] teams are going to focus a lot more on me and double me—and maybe even triple me—which is going to open up everyone else on the team and bring a lot more evenly distributed scoring…that will allow my teammates to shine.”

This season, the ‘Jackets had seven freshmen on the roster, replacing only four seniors from the previous season and growing the team larger than it has ever been before. Despite only being a freshman, Leslie’s hard work and consistency earned her considerable playing time, starting every game and  averaging 27.2 minutes-per-game for the ‘Jackets, who finished the season as the fourth-ranked team in the UAA with a record of 15-10.

Leslie believes that next season, her coaches will be expecting more from her as an individual, and the team as a whole. “We’re going to be putting more pressure on ourselves because we now know how good we can be,” Leslie said. “I think we only just scraped the surface [of our potential] at the end of this season: we were winning big games and plan to carry that momentum into next season.”

Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.

Douglas is a member of the class of 2017.

 



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