Miami Dade College Women’s’ Basketball Coach Susan Summons ultimate goal is to create champions in life.
And Summons is doing just that. During her nearly years 30 years as the head basketball coach at MDC more than 95 percent of her student-athletes have continued their educational goals at four-year schools. She was once named one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America by the Institute for International Sport.
“It’s never just about basketball for me, it’s about life,” Summons said.
Summons understands that.
In 1977, she started her collegiate basketball career at Roxbury Community College located in the suburbs of Boston. In back-to-back years, the scrappy point guard led her team to the National Junior College championship tournament. She parlayed that into an opportunity at Lamar University in Texas.
Leadership has always been in her DNA. She served three years in the United States Army Reserve. In 1982, Summons returned to Roxbury to serve as the head coach until she left in 1986 for the opportunity at MDC.
Last season, the women’s basketball team had the opportunity to fulfill the short-term goal of winning a state championship, but came up short after losing in the quarterfinals of the State Tournament to Chipola College 83-61.
Six sophomores on that team have earned their associate of arts degree from MDC and now have the opportunity to transfer to a four-year school.
The Lady Sharks top player, center Jacqueline Blake, who averaged 19.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this year while being tabbed to the All State/ All Region team and the First Team All-Southern Conference team, earned a scholarship to the University of Houston.
“Jackie’s versatility will be tremendous, because she can score from inside the paint, off the dribble right outside the paint or from long distance shooting the three ball,” said University of Houston Head Women’s Basketball Coach Ronald Hughey. “Jackie has several qualities, but what makes her special is that she’s a leader who cares about being the best at whatever she is involved in.”
Point guard Ashante Doby, who averaged 8.4 points a game for the Lady Sharks this year, signed with Norfolk University and her high school and backcourt mate, Kensha’dra Smith, who averaged 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds, signed with rival North Carolina Central University.
Sophomore guard Kayla Guerrero, who played sparingly, will be attending Warner Southern University in Lake Wales, Florida.
Two other Lady Sharks are mulling offers. Forward Erika Hall, who averaged 5.3 points and 5.4 rebounds this year, is considering offers from Middle Tennessee State University, Johnson C. Smith University, and University of New Orleans.
Fellow forward Imari Brown, who averaged 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds this year, is weighing her options between California State University, Dominguez Hills and San Francisco State University.
And those opportunities are what make Summons happy.
“I believe when students are well- rounded and they understand all the components that it takes to be a true champion in life that they are going to be ultimately successful,”Summons said.