Shafir lost for remainder of basketball season with knee injury

November 30, 2011 | News, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis



Senior Naama Shafir was a 2011-12 MAC Player of the Year candidate before she sustained the knee injury.

Senior Naama Shafir has been lost for the remainder of the 2011-12 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee, Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop announced Tuesday.

Shafir is expected to have surgery to repair the ligament by the end of December.

The 2011-12 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year candidate was injured in the first minute of play during UT’s 69-58 win at Indiana Nov. 25 while driving to the basket and distributing a pass to a teammate. Shafir tried to return to the game later in the first half, but the three-time All-MAC honoree was unable to put any significant weight on her injured knee.

Shafir, who had started 106 consecutive games before sitting out in Toledo’s loss at Arkansas State Nov. 27 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. She ranks sixth in the MAC in assist/turnover ratio (1.3), seventh in free-throw percentage (85.0 percent, 17 of 20), tied for seventh in assists and 22nd in scoring.

A season ago, she 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.

The native of Hoshaya, Israel, 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 thrilling 76-68 victory over USC in the championship game April 2 in Savage Arena.

Shafir 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).