Shafir to return to Rockets in 2012-13

January 24, 2012 | News, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis

Good news for Rocket nation: Senior Naama Shafir has announced that she will apply for a medical hardship and plans to return to the women’s basketball team for the 2012-13 season.

Naama Shafir announced last week that she will apply for a medical redshirt and return to the basketball court for the 2012-13 season.

“I was in shock at first and didn’t know what to do,” Shafir said. “I thought there was no chance I was going to come back. After a couple of weeks, though, I started to think that’s not how I want to finish here. I still feel like I have a lot to give. I’m excited to come back for another year with amazing fans, an amazing team and coaches.”

The three-time All-Mid-American Conference selection was lost for the 2011-12 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during UT’s 69-58 win at Indiana Nov. 25.

Shafir, who had started 106 consecutive games prior to the injury, was averaging 9.3 points, a squad-best 3.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.5 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game this season.

“I’m so proud of Naama because she handled all this with great maturity,” Toledo Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop said. “I’m glad she took some time so she made the right decision that she’s comfortable with instead of rushing into a decision.”

Last season, the point guard averaged a team-high 15.3 points, a squad-best 5.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 30.8 minutes per game. She finished third in the MAC in assists (34th in NCAA), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.09) and 10th in scoring, en route to earning first-team all-league honors.

Shafir was a key component in the Rockets capturing the 2011 WNIT and claimed tourney MVP recognition after scoring a career-high 40 points in a victory over USC in the championship game April 2 in Savage Arena.

The native of Hoshaya, Israel, sits fourth in UT annals in assists (569), fifth in free throws made (441), eighth in scoring average (13.7 points per game) and free-throw percentage (76.8 percent, 441 of 574), ninth in steals (168) and 10th in points (1,452).

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