Haringey basketball star signs up for American adventure

17:56 12 March 2013

Janice Monakana

Janice Monakana

Archant

One of the stars of the Greig City Academy girls’ basketball team is heading to America to further her sporting career after winning a four-year scholarship at the University of Toledo in Ohio.

Janice Monakana of Year 13, who also plays for Haringey Angels, will play for the university in the Mid-American athletic conference, which has one of the best attendance figures in the country with an average of over 4,000 fans at each game.

She went on an official visit to Toledo in January and was so impressed that she immediately declined her other offers, agreeing to move to the USA and start as a ‘freshman’ first year student in August.

Monakana’s coach at Haringey Angels, Dan Bowmaker, is also a national coach. He said: “During the season Janice will train for 20 hours a week, have to fly to games and be back in lessons the next morning after playing in front of huge crowds and being interviewed in post-game TV shows.

“It’s not an easy life, but one that is very rewarding and to get somebody to pay for your entire education whilst being treated like a superstar, well I can think of worse things!

“I am delighted for Janice. Toledo offers all the things she was looking for – coaching staff that have experience with international players, good support structures for student athletes to maintain the high academic standards they set and an excellent high level basketball program that will challenge her.”

Monakana said: “The campus is great with wonderful facilities. Toledo is a small town which means that I’ll be living in a completely different environment from London, and I like the idea of such a small place after years in the city.

“The staff and students were welcoming and I got on really well with the rest of the team. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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