MIAMI (April 4, 2012) - FIU women's basketball Assistant Coach Desma Thomas Bateast was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame last week at the 44th Annual UMSHoF Induction Banquet held at Miami's Jungle Island.
Thomas Bateast is one of eight members of the UMSHoF Class of 2012 as she joins fellow Hurricanes Patrina Allen (Track); Ray Bellamy (Football); Bryant McKinnie (Football); Rich Mercier (Football); Robbie Morrison (Baseball); Ed Reed (Football); and Paige Yaroshuk Tews (Tennis).
In 2011-12, Thomas Bateast helped lead FIU (23-11) to its first 20-win campaign in the last 10 years as the Panthers posted their second-straight, 10-win Sun Belt Conference season and advanced to their second-consecutive SBC Championship semifinal. FIU would then earn an at-large bid to the Postseason WNIT, advancing to the postseason event for the first time since 2005-06.
Thomas Bateast has been an integral part of Head Coach Cindy Russo's staff for six seasons and for the past two campaigns, has helped develop sophomore standout Jerica Coley. Coley earned AP All-America honors in 2011-12 after becoming the first player in FIU women's basketball history to be named SBC Player of the Year. Under Thomas Bateast's direction, Coley joined the 1,000-Point Club, becoming the sixth player in program history to achieve 1,000 career points in two seasons.
A two-time All-BIG EAST Third Team selection at UM, Thomas Bateast scored 1,284 points over her four seasons (1992-97) to rank 11th on the school's all-time list. The Hurricanes' all-time leader in both three-point field goals made and three-point field goals attempted, Thomas Bateast also holds UM's single-game record for most free throws made (18) and attempted (22).
Upon graduating from UM in 1997 with a Bachelor of business administration in sport management, Thomas Bateast set out to play professionally. She joined the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA in 1997 and went on to play in Italy, Sweden and Turkey before returning to the United States to play for the Birmingham Power of the NWBL in 2002.
About the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame: The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit, 501c3 corporation whose sole purpose is to recognize those student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have excelled at their sports and brought acclaim to the university through their accomplishments and championships. All tax-deductible donations help showcase their achievements for Hurricanes fans to enjoy for generations to come.
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls nearly 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
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