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Women's Walk-On Forster Article

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Great story about the walk-on in Newsday today. She may get All-Rookie. I am posting the article since Newsday is a pay-site...


Hometown hero: Forster goes from walk-on to indispensable at Albany


February 27, 2010 By MARCUS HENRY marcus.henry@newsday.com


Most of us have heard the story a million times about a walk-on who makes a team and eventually gets playing time after a couple of years of perseverance.


What you don't often hear is about a walk-on who cracks the starting lineup freshman season and becomes an important part of the team.


University at Albany freshman Julie Forster is experiencing that exact scenario. Forester, a Huntington graduate, walked on to the Great Danes women's basketball team.


After just a couple of months, she's already on the fast track to becoming an all-conference player.


Forster is fourth on Albany in scoring (9.6 points per game) and leads the team and the America East conference in rebounding (8.5). Forster was named America East rookie of the week after averaging 7.7 points, 13 rebounds and one block over three games last week.


Her week was highlighted by a 20-rebound effort in a 64-62 overtime win over New Hampshire. It was a freshman record and two shy of the school mark.


A humble Forster chose not to focus on her numbers.


"I'm just glad I got the opportunity to play," the 6-foot forward said. "The main goal was for me to be happy wherever I decided to go."


The Albany coaching staff didn't know much about Forster other than seeing video of one half of two high school games she sent them. It apparently was all they needed to see.


Forster was a recruited walk-on, so she didn't have to go through open tryouts. But making the team still wasn't a guarantee.


"I talked with the coaches last spring about walking on," she said. "But I didn't know whether I'd be contributing so early."


The coaches told Forster she'd be a welcomed member if they had any available roster spots. They did and Forster made the team.


"I was so excited when they told me," she said. "It was really a dream come true."


Albany wasn't Forster's only choice. Binghamton and Geneseo were also on her short list. But she said she "fell in love" with the campus and the atmosphere.


"It wasn't just about basketball. It wasn't too far and the academics are great," she said. "I'd still be happy here even without basketball."


Sloper, Aiken excel


Sacred Heart graduate Briana Sloper is having a marvelous season for the St. Thomas Aquinas women's team. The sophomore forward has won or shared three ECC player of the week awards. She had 26 points and nine rebounds for Aquinas (15-9, 11-9 ECC) in a 67-61 win over C.W. Post on Tuesday.


C.W. Post junior guard Janea Aiken has been just as effective as Sloper. The former St. Dominic standout has earned two ECC player of the week awards. She led Albany in scoring last season before transferring to Post (18-8, 13-7 ECC).

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