Prior to losing to the Howard Lady Bisons on Feb. 11, the Lady Rattler basketball team soared to 14 consecutive victories. A key factor behind this winning streak was senior Tameka McKelton.
The team captain and all-time three-point shooter was a dominant force on the court every game during the streak, averaging a noble 14.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
But there is much more to McKelton than her skills on the hardwood. She is the mother of a 5-month-old girl. McKelton, who competed during her pregnancy last season, said she is able to balance her roles on and off the court despite distractions.
“It’s all about dedication and balancing your priorities,” McKelton said.
McKelton gave birth to her daughter, Auria, five months after the season on Aug. 20.
The 5-foot-8 athlete is a tough defender and a relentless scorer on the court.
Head coach LeDawn Gibson said she is beyond impressed with both McKelton’s performance during this season as well previous ones.
“She is a great and gifted individual who is an unstoppable force,” Gibson said.
McKelton may be soft-spoken, but her abilities on the court resonate heavily. She said she is proud of the team’s overall performance this season but knows there is room for improvement.
“There is no way for us to go but up,” McKelton said.
During her four years as a Rattler, McKelton has built a “lifelong sisterhood” with many teammates. McKelton said friendships with teammates have been one of her highlights.
McKelton and the Lady Rattlers are off to an impressive start. They are currently 12-1 in conference play and 19-6 overall. The Lady Rattlers’ winning streak dated back to Dec. 9 after their loss to Nicholls State.
During the streak, McKelton’s best outing was against Delaware State on Jan. 23 when she scored a game-high 25 points. “My job is to lead this team and do whatever they need me to do,” McKelton said.
McKelton and the Lady Rattlers, who have earned two-straight victories since Feb. 11, will look to piece together a new winning streak as the 2012 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament nears on March 5.
Florida A&M, which is in a three-way tie for first place in the conference, will seek to clinch the top spot during its final three games of the regular season.