Abdul-Qaadir announces intent to transfer
Junior women’s basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir announced late Tuesday night she would transfer for her senior season. photo By Albert Crozier | staff
The University of Memphis women's basketball team's third leading scorer, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, announced on her Twitter page late Tuesday night that she will not be at Memphis next season.
The 5'4" guard averaged 10.4 points, 2.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game this season. Abdul-Qaadir has yet to decide what uniform she will put on next season during her final year of eligibility.
Abdul-Qaadir joins Nicole Dickson as the second top-three scorer leaving this year's Tiger team (16-15, 7-8 C-USA). Dickson averaged 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, while also being the lone Tiger named to the C-USA All-Conference Team in 2013. She plans to graduate in May.
Abdul-Qaadir, a redshirt junior, will be missed off the court as well. She was the only Tiger basketball named to the C-USA Women's All-Academic Basketball Team. Very outspoken about her Islamic faith, Abdul-Qaadir was easily recognizable at Tigers games because she covers her hair, arms and legs with sleeves, even while playing.
Born in the birthplace of basketball, Springfield, Mass., Abdul-Qaadir excelled from an early age. She started on the varsity basketball team at New Leadership Charter School from the time she was in eighth grade until her senior year, in which she broke the Massachusetts state career scoring record with 3,070 points.
She averaged 42 points per game her senior season and was named the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year. She appeared in Sports Illustrated, Slam Magazine, and on ESPN. She ultimately chose to come to the U of M over Boston College and Louisville.
Abdul-Qaadir took on a lesser role at the U of M. She averaged seven points and two assists throughout her career as a Tiger. She was redshirted as a freshman after tearing her ACL during the 2009 preseason. In 2010-2011, she came off the bench for 12 minutes a game. She then started all but three games in which she played for the past two seasons.
The timing could not be worse for the Tigers, who are leaving C-USA to join the American Athletic Conference, formerly known as the Big East. The level of competition will be a step up from the teams in C-USA with teams like Louisville and Connecticut, both of whom made this year's Final Four in the Women's NCAA Tournament. Those schools are a stark contrast to facing off against the likes of Tulsa or Tulane.
The U of M finished the 2012-2013 campaign with a first-round loss to Arkansas in the WNIT. Abdul-Qaadir scored 11 in the loss. The Tigers will look to rebound next season after finishing 2012-2013 on a 1-4 stretch.
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