Adams walks away from NIU basketball

By Jimmy Johnson

DeKALB | Mauvolyene Adams will not be playing for the NIU women’s basketball team this season.

Kathi Bennett, first year head coach said due to conflicting views and theories, the 6-foot forward who started 28 games for NIU last season isn’t going to be a part of her inaugural season as Lady Huskies head coach.

Bennett described Adams having feelings of reservations playing this season.

When she met face-to-face with Adams, it soon became clear that both parties couldn’t see eye to eye on some issues.

“I have some standards for the team,” Bennett said. “And it just came down to the decisions that she didn’t want to be a part of what we’re building.”

Expectations were high for Adams coming into this season.

The Bolingbrook High School graduate was coming off her best season at NIU, averaging 12.6 points per game while also grabbing 8.4 rebounds, good enough to rank her second best on the team in both categories.

With her departure, the Huskies inside presence somewhat deteriorates.

Adams and interior counterpart senior Ebony Ellis were the key components inside for NIU last season averaging a total close to 25 points and 19 rebounds a game.

Ellis expressed disappointment about Adams’ departure, but has high expectations for her other inside teammates.

“I’m going to miss her,” Ellis said. “But I know that we have other people who can probably do some of those things that she could,”

One of NIU’s underclassmen will now have the opportunity to catch Bennett’s eye and jump into the starting lineup.

Bennett already has one player in mind to pair up with Ellis.

“I think Shaakira [Haywood] has great potential” Bennett said. “She’s long and aggressive and plays extremely hard and is a team person. I feel like she really worked hard this summer and will be someone to play with Ebony [Ellis] really well.”

Haywood was used as a reserve last season but did appear in all of the Huskies’ 29 games.

The 6’2″ forward ranked second on the team in blocked shots, with 19.

Last season, former head coach Carol Owens sent Adams to the locker room during a home game against Central Michigan after an incident on the bench.

During the post game press conference, Owens cited that it just wasn’t just her decision for Adams to leave the bench.

“I’m not going to go all in detail about it,” Owens said. “It was a team decision that she was no longer on the bench.”

The incident cost Adams a one-game suspension. Upon returning to the court Adams expressed a renewed outlook of her role.

“I just kind of realized my worth to the team and significance of my leadership on this team,” Adams said. “It was a good thing. I needed a reality check.”

The Northern Star left messages for Adams and Owens, but calls weren’t returned as of press time.

A member of NIU media relations commented on the situation stating Adams remains on a full academic scholarship and is receiving support from the NIU Athletics academic staff.