Crowder sophomore basketball player Terai Sadler recently earned an accomplishment that very few can lay claim to.
A 5’11 forward from Waitara, New Zealand, Sadler is one of only 10 players nationally to earn NJCAA Division I First Team All-American honors for the 2013 season. In rare company, Sadler became only the second Lady ‘Riders basketball player in history to receive the award, and the first since Whitney Beckett achieved the same status in 1986.
Still, Sadler can claim something no other Lady ‘Rider has — and perhaps very few around the nation — she’s the school’s first All-American New Zealander.
Even she found that point amusing, admitting she had no idea what being an “All-American” meant until recently.
“(Coach Tina Robbins) called me (Sunday) night and told me about it and like, at first I didn’t really know what it meant,” Sadler admitted. “I didn’t really know how many people were on the team and all of that, but when I found out — it’s really cool. It’s an honor.”
After some more research, Sadler, referred to by her friends and teammates simply as ‘T’, was all smiles after learning the magnitude of her achievement.
“We don’t have anything like that in New Zealand, so to get this is pretty awesome,” she added. “I couldn’t have done it without my coaches or my teammates. I think they helped me a lot.”
Sadler earned her selection after an outstanding season helping guide the Lady ‘Riders to their first trip to the NJCAA National Championship Tournament under Robbins. In 33 games Sadler averaged 35.8 minutes, shot 57.2 percent from the field, 85.4 percent from the free throw line and 18.6 points per game. She also averaged nine rebounds per game, 2.4 assists and two steals.
Her stats stand out even more considering the role she played. Despite being a touch under 6-foot, Sadler spent most of the year posting up against larger players. That had little effect on her success, however.
“We’re all very excited for T,” Robbins said. “She’s definitely very deserving of it. She had a fantastic year. She was a huge part of our success. She’s a kid that improved tremendously from year to year and a lot of that was due to her work ethic.”