Most college athletes have been playing their sport of choice since they were old enough to walk, but what Ma’ata Epenisa has done in the sport of basketball over the past 6 years is truly remarkable.
She is this week’s athlete of the week.
"The one thing with Ma'ata she’s gotten a lot better from last year. This is only her fifth year of organized basketball, so she is going to continue to get better and better. The thing I really love this year she’s got a higher motor," said head coach Taylor Wagner.
Coming to the United States Ma'ata didn’t know much about the sport of basketball, but she did know about one of the sports best players of all time.
"I’m originally from Tanga and then I moved over here and we didn’t have basketball. I didn’t know of basketball but I knew of Michael Jordan," said Epenisa.
I’d say she’s picked up the game pretty well because 4 games into the regular season the senior leads the Mavericks in scoring averaging nearly 16 points a game.
"Her understanding you know of where she needs to get her points from is a lot better. Last year she had problems with getting into foul trouble. This year it seems like she’s a lot more disciplined,” said Wagner.
Epenisa feels at home with a basketball in her hand, but it’s what the game itself has taught Ma'ata that she said has made her who she is today.
“I have learned how to be a leader over here and like how to be more confident in myself. As well as working through hardships and all that stuff, “said Epenisa.
The Lady Mavs will be back in action this weekend at the home hosting Holiday Inn- Airport Thanksgiving Classic starting on Friday.