NCAA clears Shafir to play next season

By By Nate Pentecost

Managing Editor

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012

S_Shafir.jpg

File photo by Nick Kneer/IC

Senior point guard Naama Shafir has been cleared by the NCAA to play next season for the Rockets after an injury in 2012.

Toledo point guard Naama Shafir has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the Mid-American Conference.

The Israeli native will return to the Rockets for 2012-13 campaign and will have one season of competition remaining before her five-year eligibility limit runs up.

“It feels good knowing that it’s official,” Shafir said. “If you played less than thirty percent of the season you’re usually not going to have any problems getting a medical redshirt. It’s good news though, it’s finally behind me.”

The MAC Player of the Year candidate was injured while driving to the basket in the first minute of Toledo’s game at Indiana Nov. 25.

Shafir was averaging 9.3 points, 2.3 steals and 1.5 rebounds in the 2012 season before sitting out for the first time in 107 games.

“It was really hard because I’ve never been in that situation before,” Shafir said. “It was especially hard with close games and when we were losing. I wanted to be on the court to help the team.”

In 2011 the All-MAC honoree averaged a team-high in points (15.3) and assists (5.1), in addition to posting 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals a contest.

Shafir was instrumental in the Rockets 2011 WNIT Championship run, lighting up Southern California for a career-high 40 points in the finals en route to earning tournament MVP honors.

Despite losing Shafir, the Rockets finished the 2012 season with a 24-10 (13-3 MAC) record, claiming a share of the MAC West title for the third straight year. Toledo also earned its third straight appearance in the WNIT, falling to Syracuse 74-73 in the “Sweet 16.”

Shafir will rejoin a Rockets team that will return all but two players from this season’s roster, with Toledo losing Haylie Linn and third-team All-MAC selection Courtney Ingersoll to graduation.

The 2013 roster will include two redshirt freshman in guard/forward Ana Capotosto and forward Taylor Carver, as well as three incoming players who signed letters of intent last November.

“Obviously Haylie and Courtney did a lot for us this year,” Shafir said. “It’s going to be tough to replace them. I definitely think we have a lot of potential and we can do some good things next year. It’s always hard to tell before the season, but I think we’re going to have a really good team.”

 

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