COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Texas A&M women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair and junior guard Takia Starks were both honored by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) at an awards banquet held Saturday night in conjunction with the organization’s annual convention and clinic in San Antonio, Texas.
Blair was tabbed as TABC Division I Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year, while Starks became the first Texas A&M women’s basketball player to be named TABC Division I Women’s Basketball College Player of the Year. The awards ceremony recognized the top collegiate coaches and players across all divisions and was voted on by TABC members throughout the Lone Star State. Texas men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes and Texas sophomore guard D.J. Augustin were also honored.
Blair led Texas A&M to its first NCAA Elite Eight appearance and first-ever Big 12 Conference Tournament title during a record-setting 2007-08 campaign. The Aggies also compiled the most victories in school history with a 29-8 overall record and a program-best No. 8 national ranking in both the final AP and ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches Top 25 Polls. He became the 36th all-time coach in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to reach 500 career victories and is currently the second all-time winningest women’s basketball coach at A&M with 102 wins.
Starks, a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection in 2008 and 2007, averaged a team-leading 16.3 points per game and became only the third player in school history to be named All-America Honorable Mention by The Associated Press this past season. She earned a spot on the NCAA Oklahoma City All-Regional Team and was one of 40 finalists for the prestigious 10-member State Farm All-America Team. The Houston native was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 Tournament and team co-MVP with teammate A’Quonesia Franklin. She has compiled 1,423 career points to date which ranks fifth all-time in the A&M record books.
Hey Now, You’re An All-Star…Texas A&M signees Adaora Elonu (Houston, Texas) and Skylar Collins (Cedar Hill, Texas) both played in Saturday’s TABC All-Star Girls Basketball Game held in San Antonio. Elonu scored 12 points, while Collins added six for the White team. Rated the No. 49 overall prospect and the sixth-best power forward in the Class of 2008 by the All-Star Girls Basketball Report, Elonu is the younger sister of Texas A&M sophomore men’s basketball forward/center Chinemelu Elonu and starred for Alief Elsik High School. Meanwhile, Collins was rated the No. 44 overall prospect and the sixth-best shooting guard in the Class of 2008 by the All-Star Girls Basketball Report out of Cedar Hill High School. Both all-stars were named to the TABC Class 5A All-State Team along with fellow incoming freshman Sydney Carter (DeSoto, Texas) out of DeSoto High School.