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Spartans' Liz Shimek vs. Lady Bears' Sophia Young

Tuesday, April 5, 2005; Page D03

It's amazing that Young has been playing basketball for only five years. The 6-foot-1 junior forward had played only netball in her native island of St. Vincent in the West Indies before coming to the United States to learn basketball. In just a short time, she has blossomed into one of the premier post players in the country. Young, a Kodak all-American, averages 18.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and shoots 53 percent from the field.

"I feel she could have went and played bowling and been an all-American," teammate Chameka Scott said. "She has this determination. When she sets her mind to do something she's going to do it. She's very headstrong. She's very set in her ways. She's committed to whatever it is she's out to do. The fact that she picked up basketball so quickly is just a testament to her commitment in life in general. It's not just basketball."

(Darron Cummings -- AP)

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Shimek isn't flashy. She doesn't really impress until you look at the stat sheet. She came up with all the loose rebounds and scored off others' misses. She usually keeps the opposing post players from finding their comfort zone around the basket. Shimek averages 15 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and makes 50 percent of her shots.

"We're well-balanced as a team and so perhaps she could be overlooked," Michigan State Coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "She is just so strong and so tough and such a great competitor."

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