Deciding to play basketball was an easy decision for Aisha Rodney, a senior forward from Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Growing up, all she wanted was to be noticed by her father. Rodney hoped that one day her father would come out and watch her play.
“I was doing dance at the time and I knew that he loved sports, so I tried a bunch and fell in love with the game,” Rodney said.
Rodney had a stellar high school career under coach Kevin Richards at Grosse Pointe South. During her senior year she averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds and four steals per game.
Rodney played a vital part in leading her team to three consecutive conference championships. She was honored for her distinguished career by receiving many accolades.
She was a four-time All-State selection, and three-time team MVP. She was also named Rookie of the Year for Grosse Pointe South and a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
Outside of high school basketball, Rodney also played on a club basketball team known as the Michigan Crossovers. She helped lead the team to the semifinals of the Nike Nationals, which is the furthest that any team from Michigan has ever reached. Rodney described this moment as being the greatest memory from her high school career.
After high school Rodney made the decision to attend University of Massachusetts. As a freshman, she averaged 3.8 points per game, scoring her first points in 10 minutes of play against Coastal Connecticut.
Her best game as a freshman came against Holy Cross, in which she recorded 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals. As a sophomore, Rodney earned more minutes for UMass. She finished the season averaging 4.1 points per game and 2.2 rebounds per game.
She also had 29 appearances, and made four starts along the way, tallying a career high eight rebounds against Miami of Ohio.
After her sophomore season Rodney decided to transfer to UT. “It was a tough decision for me but mostly I just wanted to get closer to my family who all moved to Florida after I graduated high school,” Rodney said. “The distance was too much for me at the time and when I visited UT, I liked the vibe I got from the coaches and the players as well as the campus.”
During her junior campaign, Rodney appeared in 28 games logging 15.5 minutes per game. She was a key reserve who averaged 6.6 points per game and recorded a season high 21 points during the SSC Tournament Quarterfinal matchup.
Rodney went on a streak of five straight games scoring at least ten points. She was selected to the SSC all-championship team and finished top five in field goal shooting percentage in the SSC tournament.
Rodney ’s favorite memory at UT was the last regular season game of her junior year when the team found out that they were conference champions. She described the moment as the “best feeling ever.”
Rodney said her goals for this season are “to play as a team on defense first of all and win conference as well as the regional.” Rodney said, “We need to get back to our defensive principles. Once our defense clicks our offense will follow.”
After college, Rodney plans on going to professional school and working in health care. “I’m excited to help people and save lives when I get the opportunity,” she said.
Ed Kerner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org