LJ Santa Maria
"I would have to say my success is due to my teammates. I come from a small high school team to a university where the game is so much more fast-paced and competitive. My teammates have made the transition very smooth for me," Daley said.
Daley has had some huge games thus far, adding up 20 points multiple times, leading the team to key victories over Luzerne County Community College and Central Penn to name a few. Her best performance came in the team's toughest matchup of the season with Penn College, where Daley recorded 20 points and eight rebounds in only 17 minutes of play due to foul trouble. The Nittany Lions lost a heartbreaker that night 69-66.
"Scoring and rebounding are definitely a strong hold of my game. I love the challenge of both, so I get a drive to succeed in those categories," Daley noted.
Daley has high expectations for her team the rest of the way this season and really thinks they can
be a team that other schools have to prepare for. On being named female athlete of the month, Daley said, "It is a great achievement and I am truly glad as a freshman to have received this honor."
Alex Akabogu, star sophomore forward on the men's basketball team has been named male athlete of the month. Akabogu is PSU Hazleton’s go-to-guy and the team's best defender. He is averaging over14 points and eight rebounds per game, as well as locking down the other team’s best scorer. Akabogu has been unselfish on the court, moving the ball around and getting others involved.
"Just extra time in the gym and weight room this past summer, put ting up more shots is really it," said Akabogu on his success this season.
The team is off to a rocky start at 3-4 this season, but almost pulled off an incredible win over Division II Bloomsburg University losing a nail biter 79-78. In that game, Alex had 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists. It was really a performance that sums up his season and career thus far at Penn State Hazleton. Those watching Akabogu expect him to finish the season with better averages than he has now, and to lead the team to a late season surge that could end up with them in the playoffs and hoisting another banner in Dr. Caccese’s gym.
On being named male athlete of the month, Akabogu said, "It is a great accomplishment and it is nice to see in situations like this all my hard work is being recognized, and I am very honored and humbled to receive this honor."