ODU's Penicheiro considering coming back for another season NCAA women's notes

March 28, 1997|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

CINCINNATI -- Asked if the events of the last week were a blur to her, Old Dominion point guard Ticha Penicheiro invited a writer to pinch her to see if she was awake to comprehend it all.

"When I got on the plane to come here, I never thought I would be in this position. To play for a national championship and to be an All-American never entered my mind," said Penicheiro, a senior and native of Portugal.

Yesterday, Penicheiro, the nation's steals and assists leader, was selected, along with nine other players to the Kodak All-America team, the most prestigious of the women's postseason honors.

Penicheiro, a 5-foot-11 guard, lost a year of eligibility when she enrolled at the Norfolk school three years ago, because the courses she took in Portugal did not transfer here, essentially making her a Prop 48 casualty. However, under a newly enacted NCAA rule that allows Prop 48 victims to recover that lost year, if they complete their course work in four years, Penicheiro could come back next season.

"Sunday, hopefully, I will get a championship, but once the season is over, I'll sit down and talk with the coaches to see what is best for Ticha. Right now, I don't know," said Penicheiro.

Early departure?

Tennessee sophomore Chamique Holdsclaw, who also was named a Kodak All-American, has been the subject of rumors that, with the formation of two professional leagues, she might be the first women's player to leave college early, a notion she put down emphatically yesterday.

"I think females shouldn't be allowed to decide to go pro," said Holdsclaw, who averaged 20 points and nine rebounds a game this year. "What the league needs is mature young ladies who have their degrees and who want to go further and play basketball as a career. I think, also, by playing in college, you develop your name. Then, by graduating, it does a greater good for the sport."

Said coach Pat Summitt: "She's not going anywhere."

All is forgiven

Notre Dame senior guard Beth Morgan is a native of Bloomington, Ind., the home of Indiana University, so the fact that she has led one of Indiana's arch-rivals to a Final Four, might make her persona non-grata in her home town.

"They [Bloomington residents] are happy for me and the experience I had at Notre Dame, because they know I thoroughly enjoyed it and most people wanted what was best for me," said Morgan.

Pub Date: 3/28/97

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