UAlbany senior prepares for next steps after NCAA Tournament appearance

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A University at Albany women’s basketball star is looking toward the future as her basketball career in Albany comes to an end.

Once again, Shereesha Richards was a force to be reckoned with against a top-tier program on the national stage. The 6’1” forward scored 23 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to put an exclamation point on her already celebrated career as a Great Dane.

She, along with fellow senior Erin Coughlin, make up the programs all-time winningest class. They also led the Purple and Gold to new heights this year – winning an NCAA Tournament game for the very first time.

For Coughlin, her basketball playing days are likely she over. She plans to attend graduate school for education and possibly become a high school coach someday.

But for Richards, the door is just opening to a new phase of her record setting career. The WNBA has invited her to a tryout camp in Texas during Final Four weekend.

So while UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson plans to give her star a small break, she said the training will start again pretty quickly to prepare for the training camp. Richards is a projected second round draft pick, and Coach Abe said her best attribute can’t be seen on film.

“Her fierce fight,” Abrahamson-Henderson said. “Desire to win and compete all the time. And I feel like, because she was at Albany, she has no entitlement to her. A lot of kids sometimes, with the name on their shirt, they think, ‘Here I am. I’m so good.’ And they don’t work hard. She’s always gonna work hard. And she’ll beat people out just because she has that work ethic.”

Richards asked Coach Abe not to tell her anything about the future until after the season was over, so she didn’t know about the camp when she spoke to NEWS10 ABC.

This was her answer when asked about her next steps: “I’ll be looking forward to it, you know. Whatever opportunity comes, I’ll jump on it and take it one step at a time, and I’m sure it will be a fun ride.”

With Richards and Coughlin graduating, UAlbany loses a couple major pieces. But the Great Danes return three starters, including Imani Tate who scored 28 points against Florida.

Zakiya Saunders will also be back. They’ll both be seniors.

America East Sixth Player of the Year Tiana-Jo Carter keeps getting better. The freshman Julie Forster showed flashes during the tournament, and Coach Abe said her four incoming freshmen might be the most talented recruiting class she’s had.

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