Rutgers Women's Basketball

Rutgers guard Khadaizha Sanders drives up the court against Niagara in November in Piscataway, N.J. Sanders, a former McNamara star, was named Rutgers' women's selection for the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.

Last week, former Bishop McNamara girls basketball superstar Khadaizha Sanders was honored by the Big Ten Conference as one of Rutgers’ Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners.

The three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection was honored, along with Akwasi Yeboah, of the men’s basketball team, as one of Rutgers’ two award winners for the 2019-20 academic season.

One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by his or her university as a nominee, and two Outstanding Sportsmanship award winners then were selected from each school.

All of the sportsmanship award winners were honored for being able to routinely demonstrate good sportsmanship during the 2019-20 season. They also had to be in a good academic standing and be able to demonstrate good citizenship outside of a competition setting.

“I was definitely happy receiving the award; it’s a good illustration of my character and who I am as a person,” Sanders said. “So, I definitely feel like I deserved it because I always put my best foot forward, and I’m always in good character.”

The award couldn’t have come at a better time for Sanders, who had just concluded her final season as a Scarlet Knight.

Sanders came back this season as a graduate student after missing her entire senior season because of injury. She knew this would be her final season, so she made it a point to come back stronger than ever.

After averaging 9.5 points per game (third-best on the team) and 4.2 assist per game this past season Sanders, or “KK” as her coaches and teammates affectionately know her by, managed to become just one of 10 guards in Rutgers women’s basketball history to record 400 or more assists for a career. Her totals were 764 career points and 421 assists in a 124-game career.

Sanders has gained the respect of her Big Ten opponents and coaches for being a great example both on and off the court. Now, she will try to use that same mentality as she works toward a Master’s degree in education with plans to become a basketball coach.

“I’ll definitely be coaching this upcoming school year if sports resume to normal,” Sanders said. “Again, I think this is a really good indication of my character, and it lets people know that it’s not all about me; it’s for everyone collectively, and at the end of the day, I’m all about team.”

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