Former Ladyjack Making a Splash on the International Level
Nov. 2, 2007
Prior to the 2005-06 season, Stephen F. Austin head coach Lee Ann Riley accepted a transfer from the University of Memphis by the name of Charity Egenti. A 6-3 prospect originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Egenti averaged less than two points and two rebounds per game in limited action at Memphis.
In her first full season with SFA, she upped her numbers to 5.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and just over one block per game as a key reserve off the Ladyjack bench. Although solid numbers for someone averaging less than 13 minutes per game, it in no way could foreshadow the success Egenti would have as a senior.
Almost over night, Egenti went from being a quality reserve to the most dominant player in the Southland Conference. Egenti averaged 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game as a senior on her way to Southland Conference Player of the Year honors.
After an outstanding senior season, Egenti's playing career really seemed to gain momentum. Following a tryout with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, Egenti qualified for the Nigerian national team.
Egenti, and her teammates, finished second in the African Olympics, and fifth in the Olympic qualifier, just missing a berth in the 2008 Olympic games. Although her stats from the Olympic qualifier were unavailable, Egenti started the final two games as a three guard and recorded a three double-doubles.
"To get the opportunity to represent your country is an honor for any athlete," said Egenti. "So I am beyond grateful to be a part of history. The experience was challenging because everyone is very talented, and works hard. There are no shortcuts on this level, guts and mental toughness are required to be elite."
Egenti is now in Madrid, pursuing a career as a professional athlete, as a member of Estudiantes. The team's 2007-08 season just got under way having played only two games. Egenti has played in one game and made the most of her time doing exactly what SFA fans were used to seeing her do. Egenti scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
"Playing in Madrid is challenging," said Egenti. "Mainly because of the style of play and the language barrier, however, this experience is one of a kind. I am learning everyday, and I love the entire program, from the general manager, to the wonderful trainer."
The transition that Egenti faced prior to going to college has made the transition to life in Madrid a lot easier.
"I am so thankful that I have had to adjust all my life from one country to another, or one state to another, so the transformation has not been bad at all," said Egenti. "However, I do miss my family and friends and my Church, Nacogdoches Bible Fellowship. The churches here speak spanish, so I have to settle for internet sermons. Adjusting to these things in itself at times can be pretty challenging."
The future appears very bright for Egenti. Prior to making her way to Nacogdoches, she had been exposed very little to organized basketball. In only two seasons at SFA she went from being a reserve to the league's most dominant player. With the ability to focus on basketball full time, and a few more years of experience under her belt, the sky is the limit for Charity Egenti.