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May 22, 2013

Coley Named SBC Student Athlete of the Year

FIU junior Jerica Coley has been named the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Female Student-Athlete of the Year, announced on Tuesday evening at the league's annual honors banquet in Destin, Fla.

A women's basketball standout for the Panthers, Coley becomes the school's second student-athlete to earn the Sun Belt's top annual honor, joining former FIU four-time volleyball All-American, Yarimar Rosa (2008).

Coley, who earned her second-consecutive Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention nod this past season, led the nation in scoring in 2012-13 with an average of 26.3 points per game. The point guard scored a single-season school record 840 points, leading FIU to its third-straight Sun Belt Conference Championship semifinal appearance and the program's second-straight Postseason WNIT berth.

"I am extremely humbled to have been chosen as this year's top female athlete," said Coley, a two-time SBC Player of the Year. "It has been a great honor and a privilege to represent the Sun Belt Conference every day, both on the court and in the classroom. I want to thank my family, the conference, and everyone at FIU - my coaches, my teammates, the SAAC [Student-Athlete Academic Center], and all of the support staff - for helping me to achieve all that I have been able to accomplish thus far in my career."

A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Coley will enter her senior season with a 30-game, double-figure scoring streak. In 2012-13, Coley notched 23, 20-plus point games, including 12, 30-plus point outings, scoring a career-high 39 points on two occasions. The Capital One Academic All-District honoree owns a career scoring average of 21.8 points per game, tied for first all-time at FIU, and is the only player in program history to register 2,000 points, 600 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200 steals in a career.

Coley has scored 2,135 career points, a total which ranks second on the FIU all-time scoring charts. The two-time WBCA All-America All-Region nominee was responsible for 42.9 percent of the Panthers' scoring this season, and has scored 35.1 percent of FIU's total points for her career.

An outstanding student, Coley owns a cumulative GPA of 3.34 while majoring in dietetics and nutrition.

"There are not enough positive adjectives to describe Jerica Coley," said veteran Head Coach Cindy Russo, who ranks as the ninth-winningest active coach in Division I women's basketball. "We've had some great players come through FIU, but she is the best I've ever coached. She's a total player, a total person, a total student; and she is more than deserving of this award. I am honored to have had the opportunity to coach Jerica, and we can't wait to see what she has in store for us next season as a senior."

For an up-to-date look at all things Jerica Coley, visit www.HolyColey.com.

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