Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Better Shooter than James (Bond)

Being a college senior is a weird thing. When you were a freshman, all you could think about were your firsts. My first class, my first college shower, my first all-nighter, my first time seeing a foot of snow in the middle of April (this is for you my fellow Frostburg Staters!). As your time dwindles down as a senior, you start seeing your "lasts." This is especially true for college athletes as they play their last games in their collegiate careers.
Bond uses her expert court vision make her
next move.

Instead of me trying to figure out what it must be like to finish a college sports career, I sought out someone who knows about this first hand. This person is none other than guard/forward Candace Bond of the Hofstra University Pride.

Bond, a native of Prince George's County, Maryland, played all four years of her college career at Hofstra. In this, her final year as a member of the Pride, Bond turned in a award winning performance. She averaged 7.8 ppg (4th on the team), 5.1 rpg (3rd on the team), and led the Pride in FT percentage by shooting 75% from the charity stripe.

On the defensive side of the ball, Bond was a constant pest in her opponent's side. She was a true ball-hawk as she led the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) in steals with 80 and was second in steals per game with 2.6. Bond also developed a habit of being the Pride's foremost heart-breaker for shots as she would lead  the team leading 31 blocks (good for 8th in the CAA). These outstanding numbers earned her the 2012-2013 CAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Although she was a defensive stalwart, there was one player who Bond says had her "working the whole game." That player is the 2012-2013 CAA Player of the Year Elena Delle-Donne. "She's long, but she plays like a guard." Bond stated. Anytime Bond and her Pride played Dell-Donne and her Blue Hens, Bond had "no plays off." She described her offensive abulity as "Just crazy!"While the majority of people around the country think that Baylor's Britney Griner will be the #1 overall pick in the draft, Bond says that she would not be suprised of Dell-Donne were to go #1.

When Bond began her college career back in 2009 vs the University of Buffalo, Bond admits that she was both anxious and excited for her first game. She also says that she did not know what to expect out of this new experience. One of the things she had to get used to was the constant travel schedule of a Division 1 athlete. "In the beginning it is really exciting, (but as you go on) it gets annoying." This annoyance is due in large part to something we all secretly or openly loathe, airport security. Some of her more "exciting" trips were voyages to Cancun, Mexico and California.

Like most college students, Bond also enjoyed playing in front of her friends and family when she played at destinations close to her hometown of Fort Washington, Maryland. Games at Towson, George Mason, Old Dominion and James Madison meant that much more to Bond and the other players who hailed from the DMV area. "You don't want to play bad in front of family" Bond notes.

When playing in those road arenas, Bond says that, "It's great to see people in Blue and Gold." This was especially true when the Pride had to travel to the Bob Carpenter Center to play Delaware or to the Convocation Center to play the Lady Dukes of James Madison. Bond says that these two venues were her toughest places to play. She described both sets of fans as really supportive of their respective teams.

Bond goes fearlessly into the teeth of the defense!
Bond is looking to go overseas to continue playing the game she loves. As for what she will miss the most from her college days she says: "I will miss my teammates the most. They were like my sisters." In support of one of her "sisters", Bond will be tuning in prime time on April 15 to see where center Shante Evans is drafted to.

When it comes to the game that she will never forget, she points to a clash with CAA rival JMU. On February 27, 2011, the Pride were down early in the second half at home to the Lady Dukes (#1 in the CAA at the time). Instead of packing it in, Hofstra roared back and gave their CAA rival all that they could handle as they roared back into the game. With 1.9 seconds left, Bond (then a Sophomore), sealed the deal with two nail-in-the-coffin free throws to give her Pride the 75-73 win. In the game, Bond finished the game in her true stat-sheet filling fashion with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 rejections and 3 pilfers.

This blogger hopes nothing but the best for Bond in her future as a international star!

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