WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's basketball squad will open the 2017-18 campaign on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at McDonough Arena against local rival Howard University. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. A webcast featuring Monika Moore and live stats will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.
Getting to Know Coach Howard
James Howard was named the 10th head coach in Georgetown women's basketball history in June 2017. He was promoted after serving as the associate head coach for two seasons. Howard returned to the Hilltop after being an assistant coach for the Blue & Gray during the 1997-98 season.
Oh Captain, My Captain
The Hoyas have named six captains this season. Seniors Dorothy Adomako (Midlothian, Va./Cosby), Cynthia Petke (Yaounde, Cameroon/-/Chipola), DiDi Burton (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College Prep), Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va./Yorktown) and junior Dionna White (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill) will all lead the squad, which returns four of five starters from a season ago.
White earned unanimous BIG EAST Conference Preseason honors at the league's annual women's basketball media day held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in October. Additionally, the Hoyas were picked to finish fifth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll, receiving 43 points. White led the Hoyas in scoring last season with 15.2 ppg as well as a squad-best 46 3-pointer's. She managed a team-high 97 steals on the defensive end and also pulled down 5.1 rpg. White was second on the team in assists with 92 and posted 16 blocked shots. She was a Second Team All-BIG EAST honoree as a sophomore.
Georgetown will spend Thanksgiving in Nashville at the Challenge in Music City. The Hoyas will face Auburn University (Nov. 24), the The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (Nov. 25) and Northwestern University (Nov. 26). Auburn went 17-15 and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament before losing to NC State University. Auburn Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was formerly at Georgetown and worked with Assistant Coach Niki Reid Geckler on the Hilltop.
Women's Sports Foundation
Burton traveled to New York City to take part in the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) Athlete Leadership Connection, held at Morgan Stanley's International Headquarters in New York City in October. This full-day development conference brought together industry leaders, sports experts and champion athletes to address the specific issues that female athletes face while competing in their sport or in the transition from their competitive careers to their next professional opportunity. The day also featured breakout sessions that focused on interview skills and resume building, and attendees were then given the opportunity to interview with companies specifically tailored to their career goals. Tennis great Billie Jean King and highly-decorated U.S. Paralympian Bonnie St. John delivered keynote addresses.
The Georgetown University women's basketball team was one of 30 schools selected to be part of the NCAA's Women's Basketball Advancement Program. The Hoyas and Marquette were the only two schools in the BIG EAST Conference selected to be a part of the pilot program, which had more than 80 applicants. The Women's Basketball Advancement Program, a two-year pilot program, is designed to continue to grow women's basketball through marketing and branding efforts. Through the program, Georgetown will benefit from the expertise of several industry leaders in those fields. The program will also seek out the creativity of college basketball marketers throughout the country.
The Hoyas have been incredibly active in the community since Howard has taken the helm. The team did work at So Others Might Eat preparing and serving meals in the Georgetown community. Additionally, the squad helped pack bags for the I On Hunger Feeding Children Everywhere Foundation, which helped hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas and have adopted a classroom in Arizona.
Georgetown has added four freshmen to the roster as Breonna Mayfield (Clinton, Md./Good Counsel), Lexi Kimball (Westport, Conn./Greens Farms Academy), Tatiana Thompson (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) and Sari Cureton (Farmington, Mich./Walled Lake Western) will make their debut this season. Additionally, Brianna Jones (North Babylon, N.Y./North BabylonLouisville) and Anita Kelava (Zagreb, Croatia/Croatian National Team/Maine) have transferred into the program and will have to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules before being eligible for 2018-19. Jones is from Louisville and Kelava is a transfer from Maine.
Two Georgetown alums have seen success in the WNBA in the past few seasons. Rebekkah Brunson won her fifth WNBA championship with the Minnesota Lynx this year. That makes her the only player in league history to have won five championships. Sugar Rodgers was named the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year after an outstanding campaign with the New York Liberty. Both were WNBA All-Stars this past year.