By Holly Weber, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team hosted their first annual "Night with the Golden Eagles" Wednesday evening, putting an official close to the 2016-17 season with an end-of-year awards banquet.
Head coach Kim Rosamond and her staff, the 2016-17 Golden Eagle squad, and members of the community gathered together to celebrate a successful first season together. The evening's festivities took place at the Clarion Inn with the event sponsored by Anchor Down, Seven Senses, and Vic's Remember When Bakery.
The night kicked off with each of the players entering the ballroom to specifically chosen music while cascading down the purple carpet as emcee Philip Gibbons – of 94.7 the Country Giant and Zimmer Broadcasting – introduced them. Music, provided by guest DJ Rae Rae – of 98.5 KISS FM – coupled with a dance floor to enhance the night's festivities.
Following a period of time for dinner, which allowed team members to interact with members of the community in attendance, Coach Rosamond presented a season recap to all in attendance and provided a perfect segway into the awards portion of the evening.
Senior manager Darius Berry received the Behind the Scenes Award for always going above and beyond his managerial duties to ensure the success and preparation of the team.
Senior Hannah Goolsby was honored for her academic success with the Most Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award for the fourth year in-a-row. A four-year member of the Golden Eagles, the Cookeville native has carried an overall 3.7 cumulative GPA and became the 29th member of the program's 1,000-point club this past season. She earned the 2015-16 OVC Medal of Honor – which is given annually to the student-athlete(s) who achieve the highest GPA in a Conference-sponsored sport – and was named a finalist for Tennessee Tech Athletics' Woman of the Year Award.
Senior Treyvonna "Trey" Brooks was honored as the Most Improved Player on the team. Brooks averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 boards per contest in the 2015-16 season, but quickly became a key member of the Tech squad this season. Her offensive and defensive efforts all season translated into season averages of 11.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
Redshirt freshman Anacia Wilkinson received the John P. Hendrix Leadership Award, presented to the player that demonstrates most what it means to truly be a leader both on and off the court. Wilkinson played in 28 games in her first full season in the purple and gold after missing all but one game as a true freshman due to injury, contributing key minutes in the post.
Akia Harris took home the prestigious Frank Porter Award. The honor is presented to the player for her contributions to the team, basketball program, Tennessee Tech University, and the community. Her contributions consist of leadership, sportsmanship and fair play as well as academics, citizenship, and poise on and off the floor.
The freshman made an instant impact for the Golden Eagles, starting 29 of the 30 contests while averaging 8.1 points, 4.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. She became just the fifth player and second freshman in program history to record a triple-double, posting the 10th in Golden Eagle history.
Junior Yaktavia "Shug" Hickson was selected as the team's Most Outstanding Player. Hickson ended the season averaging 16.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. She was the third-leading scorer in the Ohio Valley Conference, leading to her selection as a member of the All-OVC First Team. She recorded 10, 20+ point games, including three, 30+ point showings.
Each of the Golden Eagles' five seniors, including Kandace "Tip" Newry, Lindsey Jennings, Brooks, Goolsby, and Alliyah Smith, were presented with their jerseys and recognized for their contributions to the program.
A highlight video that captured the team's achievements throughout the year followed and Director of Athletics Mark Wilson provided closing remarks to end the evening.
The women's basketball team would like to thank all of their sponsors from the evening that made the "Night with the Golden Eagles" possible: Clarion Inn, Anchor Down Bar & Grille, Seven Senses Food & Cheer, and Vic's Remember When Bakery.
Photo by Jim Dillon