South Georgia Tech’s Adenike named NJCAA first team All-American
South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets sophomore forward Esther Adenike from Lagos, Nigeria, was selected as a first team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
Adenike helped lead the 2017-2018 Lady Jets to their second consecutive NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. The Lady Jets finished the season with a 29 – 6 overall record and were one of the top 16 women’s Division I NJCAA women’s basketball teams in the nation.
“It couldn’t happen to a better person,” said South Georgia Technical College Athletic Director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey. “We are all so excited for Esther “Nike” Adenike. She always has a smile on her face and is always upbeat and positive. She went through a ton of adversity just to get to the United States and to South Georgia Technical College. To see her make the most of this opportunity and work herself into an All-American says a lot about her ability and her character.
“She was determined to become the best player and student she could be. She has worked extremely hard at both and the hard work is paying off,” said Coach Frey. “She has over a 3.5 GPA and has Division One scholarship offers from all over the country. That only happens with hard work.”
In addition to being a first team NJCAA Division I All-American, Adenike earned NJCAA All-Tournament team honors for her performance on the courts at the NJCAA Women’s National Basketball Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. She was also selected as an All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WCBA) for 2018 and was the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Player of the Year for 2017 – 2018. She helped lead the Lady Jets their third consecutive GCAA regular season title with a 17 – 1 conference record, their second consecutive NJCAA Region XVII tournament title, the second NJCAA Division J Championship and their fourth appearance in the national tournament in five years. She was also selected as the GCAA Player of the Week four times this season.
The 6’ 2” forward averaged 13.6 points per game for the Lady Jets during the regular season and has earned national recognition in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) standings for rebounding, blocked shots, and field goal percentage shooting. She was the third best Division I rebounder in the NJCAA with a total of 318 during the regular season. Adenike started all 35 games for the Lady Jets this season.
At the national tournament, “Nike” and the Lady Jets defeated the 10th seeded Casper College Thunderbirds, 77 – 65 in overtime in the opening round. The Lady Jets overcame a 10-point half-time deficit to tie the game at 60 – 60 at the end of the regulation play. The Lady Jets came back and outscored the Thunderbirds 17 – 5 in overtime to advance to the Sweet Sixteen round. “Nike” scored 15 points and had 11 rounds in that match-up in the national tournament.
The Lady Jets faced seventh ranked Seward College in the next round and dropped a hard fought 88 – 81 decision. Nike was one of the leading scorers with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Adenike joins an elite group of South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets to be singled out for All-American honors. She is the fourth player under South Georgia Technical College head coach James Frey to be recognized on the national stage. Angela “Angie” Thompkins was selected as a 2016 NJCAA first team All-American. TaQuanda Mike from Savannah, who played for the Lady Jets in 2014 and 2015 was an NJCAA All-American honorable mention and Shamekia “Polly” Murray from the 2013 – 2014 Lady Jets was a second team All-American for SGTC. The other two SGTC Lady Jets players to earn All-American honors were Shontae McCall, a first team All-American in 2012 under former Lady Jets head coach Brandon Harrell and Alice Holmes who played for Brandon Harrell in 2007 – 2008. She was the first Lady Jet to earn All-American honors and she was listed on the second team.