She may have hung up her Crimson jersey, but college basketball has not seen the last of Temi Fagbenle ’15. The forward will head west for one final year of college hoops as she gets set to join the University of Southern California women’s basketball team for the 2015-2016 season while working towards a graduate degree.
After sitting out her freshman season at Harvard, Fagbenle has one remaining year of eligibility. NCAA regulations required that she sit out her rookie season after waiting three years—rather than the maximum of two that is allowed—to enroll at a university after passing Britain’s General Certificate of Secondary Education exam.
Rather than competing on the floor of Lavietes Pavilion during the 2011-2012 season, Fagbenle instead donned the jersey of Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics. During the tournament, Fagbenle started in three of her country’s five games and saw minutes in all five contests. Playing on one of the world’s biggest stages, she averaged 4.8 points and four rebounds per game.
Upon her return to Cambridge, Fagbenle made her presence felt right from the start. In her first season on the court, she earned the title of Ivy League Rookie of the Year, eventually going on to become a three-time All-Ivy selection. During her senior season, she recorded 14.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
Now, Fagbenle will make her move to the Pac-12 conference, joining a team that last reached the NCAA tournament just a year ago—something that the Crimson was unable to accomplish during the forward’s tenure.
"We are proud and excited to add Temi to our team," said USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke in a press release published on April 29. "Temi is the consummate student-athlete. Temi is an impact athlete, with over 30 double-doubles at Harvard. Her length and speed will anchor our defense, and her offensive skills and versatility will enable us to utilize her in a variety of ways.”
“As a Harvard graduate and an Olympian, Temi's maturity, intellect and international experience will command the respect of her teammates, and she will be a valued voice and leader on our team,” Cooper-Dyke added.
Fagbenle joins a Trojan roster that features several international players. When announcing the addition of Fagbenle, USC also introduced European recruit Candela Abejon of Spain. Shortly after making that announcement, USC brought in two new Australian recruits—Khaedin Taito and Dani Milisic.
The Trojans finished the 2014-2015 campaign with a 15-15 record, seeing their season come to an end with a first-round loss in the Pac-12 Tournament against Colorado. With USC graduating its top scorer, Alexyz Vaioletama, who averaged 12 points per game this year, Fagbenle will look to bring a strong scoring presence to her new team. The 6’4” forward will also add to USC’s size as the Trojans had just one player over 6’2” on its roster last season.
Having come in second in the league for the past six years, this Crimson squad is itching to return to the top. Though Harvard graduated its top scorer in guard Christine Clark ’14, the team welcomes four talented rookies and returns senior forward Temi Fagbenle, who averaged 13 points per game last season.
Player To Watch: Temi Fagbenle, senior forward
Fagbenle will be one of three 6’4” women on the Crimson’s squad, but the most experienced of the bunch.
After finishing last season 4-10 in the Ivy League and 10-18 overall during longtime coach Jean Burr’s last season at the helm, the Bears will turn to first-year coach Sarah Behn. Behn has big shoes to fill, as Burr retired as the winningest coach in Brown women’s basketball history after 26 years. Senior guard Sophie Bikofsky should lead the Bears’ offense again this year.
Player To Watch: Sophie Bikofsky, senior guard
Bikofsky led the nation in shooting from deep last season and will be crucial to Brown’s offense again.
November has crept up without a warning, masked by deceivingly warm weather. With the next two months come the end of the fall sports regular season, and teams are now focusing on the post-season tournaments.
While you may have been keeping up with their stats, you may have missed some of Harvard’s athlete’s most entertaining tweets. Here at The Back Page, we have compiled a few tweets that made us chuckle.
While sophomore wrestler Todd Preston’s double sudden death overtime victory at the EIWA Championships all but guaranteed him Athlete of the Week honors, here were some other baller performances (read: they all played really good basketball) by Crimson athletes this past weekend.
While you were busy power-watching housing day videos and writing strongly worded letters to your various friends in Kirkland house, here is what happened in Harvard sports this weekend.
With its 70-58 win over Yale on Friday night, the men’s basketball team secured the Ivy League championship outright and earned its third straight bid to the Dance. Sports writers nationwide rejoiced with the win, immediately pitching Tommy Amaker features to everyone around them. “It is such a great story for a long-form feature,” they exclaim. TRUST US, WE KNOW. JUST STOP ALREADY. Besides, the original is still the best.
Speaking of top-notch basketball coaches, women’s basketball coach Kathy Delaney-Smith now owns the most wins in Ivy League basketball history, passing Princeton legendary men’s basketball coach Pete Carril with her 515th against Yale on Friday night. It remains unclear whether Delaney-Smith will be getting the Amaker treatment or not (she is certainly more than deserving), but Bartley’s Burger Cottage, known for its special burgers named after pop culture references, did have a Delaney-Smith special on Friday afternoon. While rumors abound on the Cambridge community’s desire for a “Fire Donato!” special, Bartley’s has neither confirmed nor denied that such a burger is in the works.