Nov. 4, 2010
DeKALB - Seniors Ebony Ellis and Bianca Brown, and junior Courtney Shelton have been named captains of the 2010-11 Northern Illinois women's basketball team, first-year head coach Kathi Bennett revealed to the public at NIU Basketball Media Day, Wednesday.
"These players each bring their own brand of leadership to our program," Bennett said. "They stand as valuable examples of the hard work, dedication and attitude it takes to be a Huskie."
Ellis, a 2008-09 All-MAC Honorable Mention selection, averaged 12.0 points and a team-high 9.8 rebounds per game last year. She ranks 15th on NIU's career rebounding list with 615, and 13th among Huskies for career field goal percentage at .487.
"(Ebony) is going to be one of the best post players in this league," Bennett said. "I respect her tremendously. She's resilient, she's a beast, and she gets it done. I feel like Ebony has a chance this season to be something really special."
Bennett has identified Brown as a player who could make a big jump in minutes under the new offensive and defensive systems the Huskies will run. More importantly, Bennett believes Brown provides the mature leadership and determination essential for a captain.
"(Bianca) just wants it so bad," Bennett said. "She plays for the right reasons, and she just gets after it. She is one of the more determined people I have ever met. The concepts are new to her, but she's going to get them and she's going to have a really good senior year."
Shelton, the only junior on the team, was widely considered the most improved player on last year's squad. Shelton went from 3.5 minutes per game as a freshman to an every-game starter who averaged 27.6 minutes of floor time her sophomore year.
"Courtney is our glue," Bennett said. "I can't think of a better word to describe Courtney. She ties us together offensively and defensively. She knows exactly what needs to be done or said."
The Huskies hit the court for the first time under Bennett, Nov. 10 in an exhibition game at the Convocation Center against UW-Parkside. NIU opens the regular season at Minnesota, Nov. 13. Bennett's squad will host its first regular season game at the Convocation Center, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. against Chicago State.
Women's basketball season tickets cost just $50 for the general public, while a season courtside seat package will be priced at $100. Fans can purchase season tickets by calling (815) 753-1923 or by visiting NIUHuskies.com/tickets. NIU students are admitted free to all NIU Athletics events with their OneCard.