Versatility, selflessness leads GPS senior to girls hoops MVP award

By: Sue Teggart | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 30, 2011

 Grosse Pointe South senior Aisha Rodney capped off her final season by being voted Most Valuable Player of the MAC White Division.

Grosse Pointe South senior Aisha Rodney capped off her final season by being voted Most Valuable Player of the MAC White Division.

Photo by David Schreiber

Grosse Pointe South guard/forward Aisha Rodney capped off her senior season as the Macomb Area Conference White Division’s Most Valuable Player.

Rodney, who will play Division I basketball for the University of Massachusetts this fall, played a crucial role in the Blue Devils’ run to first place in the MAC White in their first year in the league after she was a key cog in the squad’s past two MAC Blue titles.

“It’s an honor, no doubt, to receive the MVP award,” Rodney said. “I didn’t think I was going to get it just because there are a couple other girls who did really well in my division. It’s really is an honor my senior year to finish with an award like that.”

Rodney said she put in hard work, but her coach and teammates helped her earn the award.

“I really think getting MVP has a lot to do with the team,” Rodney said. “It’s not just how I played, but the role I had on my team made me a threat to other teams.

“Being a leader was a factor. Coach (Kevin) Richards really put that high expectation on me of being a team player and being a leader.”

Rodney led the Blue Devils on both ends of the court averaging 13.7 points, seven rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 2.5 steals per game.

“I do think that one of the things that she did that’s pretty unique is that she led our team in blocks, but she also led our team in charges or offensive fouls taken, which it’s usually one or the other,” Richards said.

“It just goes to show you how smart of a basketball player she is. She made a lot of good decisions on protecting the basket and played smart defensively for us.”

What set Rodney apart was her versatility.

“She was able to shoot from the perimeter. She helped handle the ball a lot, and she obviously scored inside,” Richards said. “She did a little bit of everything.

“I really think she did a great job igniting our fast break,” Richards continued. “She maybe didn’t get a lot of assists, but she really started our break by throwing long outlets.”

Richards said what made Rodney a standout was her ability and her commitment to playing team basketball.

“Aisha did a nice job of being unselfish and getting everybody involved,” Richards said. “Aisha could have scored more than she did, but she made some of her teammates better by making extra passes.

“She probably could have averaged 20 to 25 points a game, but it shows how unselfish she is because she truly thought of the team first.”