One of the best athletes in their sport ever to come through the University of Miami has but three more home games. She’s by far the top scorer in the ACC and one of the top five scorers in the country. She leads the ACC in steals and is fourth in rebounding. Her three-point percentage is as good as J.J. Redick’s, and she grabs more rebounds per game than Anthony King. If she chooses to go pro, she’ll be one of the first picked. Her very name strikes fear into the hearts of opposing coaches across the country. If you don’t already know that I’m talking about Tamara James, go to the health center and get your blood checked because you could have a deficiency of orange and green.
The dozen or so hardcore student fans of the women’s basketball team can attest to her greatness. Some wouldn’t claim to be fans of women’s basketball per se, but they all feel the excitement watching this outstanding athlete not only make fools out of her opponents but make history as well. If she keeps up her per game average, TJ has a shot at graduating with the most points ever scored at the University of Miami.
Every girl who will play basketball at the University of Miami for a long time will play in the shadow of Tamara James. They’ll talk about how she led the Big East in scoring her freshman year and how she became the first to lead more than one conference in scoring after she went on to own the ACC. They’ll remember the 3/4 court pass she caught from Yalonda McCormick over two defenders before willing the ball in with a fraction of a second remaining to win the first game of the ACC tournament in 2005. They’ll think back about the time when new Head Coach Katie Meier struggled for words after TJ put up 31 points in a game that she played just 15 minutes.
Between y’all and me, I’d be willing to bet that none of the future players of women’s basketball at the University of Miami will be allowed to wear the number 2. We have a unique opportunity. She’s one of the best basketball players in the country, and she’s going to play for us at our very own Convocation (now Bank United) Center against FSU, Duke and Georgia Tech. You damn well better believe she’s going to bring it for the rest of the season just as she has the last three-and-a-half years. If not for excitement, get your ass there for respect. If there’s ever been a player at the University of Miami that deserves a crowd of out-of-control students, it’s Tamara James.
Chris Fisher is a junior majoring in motion pictures and political science. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you come to the games, he’ll dance for you.