ALBUQUERQUE -- Former New Mexico point guard Fatima Maddox is getting a new start at Temple.
Maddox, who quit the Lobos last month, has enrolled at Temple
and worked out with the Owls on Wednesday. As a transfer to another
Division I school, Maddox will be eligible to play in January 2006.
"She was looking for an opportunity to start over and that's
what we offer at Temple," Owls coach Dawn Staley said.
Maddox, who averaged 5.5 points a game at New Mexico, complained
about the treatment she received from Lobos coach Don Flanagan. She
quit the team in late December after Flanagan benched her. Flanagan
would not say what she did to lose her spot in the starting lineup.
Maddox, who often beat defenders with her quickness, was also
inconsistent during her time at New Mexico. A week before she left
the team, Maddox had eight turnovers in the Lobos' 61-45 win over
then-nationally ranked Arizona State.
According to Harold Bailey, the director of the state Office of
African American Studies, Maddox, who is black, voiced "concerns
about being treated differently than the non-black student
athletes" on Flanagan's team.
Staley, who is black, was an All-Star in the Women's National
Basketball Association and a 2004 Olympian. She's impressed with
what Maddox can bring to the Owls' program.
"We had not heard of her and were not able to talk with her
until New Mexico faxed us her release," Staley said. "Once that
happened, we did a thorough investigation into her background. We
looked at her academics, basketball skills and attitude. And she
seems to be terrific in all those categories."
Staley also said Maddox will have a chance to get plenty of
playing time once she is eligible next year.
"Most players who transfer here don't have a problem because
they know it's their last chance," Staley said. "I think Fatima
is going to be just fine here. She made a huge decision to transfer
and I think she's grown a lot from it."