At first glance, Qiana Donald might seem a bit intimidating. The nearly 6-foot post player from Jacksonville is currently tied for number one in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference with 11 rebounds per game and takes no prisoners in her strong offensive playing.
Donald has been working hard to help lead the team towards unprecedented success.
When the women pulled off their first win against the Florida Gators since 1986 earlier in the season, Donald proved her talent against the top ranked team with ten rebounds.
This is only one example of how Donald’s dedication and skill have helped lead the Lady Rattlers to a successful season and made her a stand out on and off the paint.
She is a self-described, “post player who acts more like a guard,” and is best known for her aggressive on court persona.
Before she was breaking records and bones with her hard-hitting talent, she began honing her skills early on. At age six she began playing with her big brothers. Donald believes that a few blocks, steals, and rebounds in her childhood helped her become such a domineering presence today.
In addition to her natural skill, the second-year criminal justice student has never shied away from hard work. Her dedication to her craft finally paid off her senior year of high school. She was constantly encouraged to play because of her height, but it was not long before others began noticing her talent as well. She played throughout high school and always dreamed of being recruited at the university level. Now that she has accomplished that goal she is hoping to reach new heights in her career.
She received a full athletic scholarship to Florida A&M and has been unstoppable ever since.
Whether leading her team to victory with seconds left on the clock or writing poetry on her own time Donald is clearly at the top of her game and has big goals for the season.
“My goal for this year is to bring home the MEAC championship and win Defensive Player of the Year,” said Donald.
After only two years of collegiate ball playing, she has gained the respect of Rattler fans and the admiration of her fellow players.
Guard Tameka McKelton, 19, has been working with Donald for two years and believes that she has the tenacity and determination needed to accomplish those goals. “She always has the desire to win and has always been really dominant.”
McKelton, a second-year criminal justice major and Palm Beach native, is also impressed with her transformation and willingness to help other members looking to improve their game. “She has grown into a leadership role and she always tries to help the younger post players.”
Donald has clearly gained the respect of her teammates and hopes to continue playing throughout the rest of her college career.