A Q&A with Shirle
A new women’s basketball star has emerged under second-year head coach Kelley Sundberg. First-year guard Shirle Major scored over 30 points twice this year, including a 34 point performance against Johnson & Wales in January— the highest scoring total from a first-year in school history.
Major’s teammate and roommate Glo Lubunga said this serial scoring isn’t foreign. “It's not a surprise to me because I know she has that in her,” said Lubunga.
Lubunga said watching Major break the record “was one of the best things as a friend and teammate. Makes me feel like a proud big sister. No doubt in the upcoming season she'll be able to do it again.”
Q: How was your experience playing this season? Did you expect to perform this well in just your first year as a college player?
A: My experience playing basketball this season was great and filled with a lot of learning moments and growth. I knew that college would be difficult because it is a completely different level from high school. The game is completely faster and you just have to adapt. I knew that it would take some time and repetition to adapt to college but once I started understanding I knew I would start scoring well. I came into college with a list of goals that I really wanted to accomplish and I knew if I stayed focused I would get there.
Q: Describe what happens when you start to get hot. You go on unstoppable scoring runs often, do you blackout and just start making everything? Do you lock in and focus on every detail? How do you manage to take over a game like that?
A: When I start getting hot I stop thinking and blackout in a way. Normally when I'm in the game I sometimes overthink about plays or certain moves to do, but when I go on runs of scoring I never think about the move I’m going to do next, I just stay calm, stop thinking and let the ball do its thing. When I go on scoring runs I usually forget what I did the play before because I’m so focused on the next play. I take over the game when we’re down and need a bucket. I take a deep breath and stay calm because when I rush, my shots don’t fall so I have to stay locked in.
Q: How does it feel to hold the record of most ever points by a first-year?
A: I’m blessed and honored to hold a record like that. I couldn’t have done it without my support systems and days in the gym with my teammates and coaches who push me to become everyday. The record makes me feel more motivated and shows me that I can do more than I think I could.
Q: What are your future goals in basketball at Lasell? How do you want your career to go, and how do you want to be remembered?
A: I want to become player of the year and win championships at Lasell. I want to be an all around player for my team and help make it to the NCAA tournament at least once in my career… I want to be remembered as a player that everyone can count on to finish games and get the job done while being able to be there for others on and off the court.
“She has such a fun, holistic approach about everything that she does,” said Sundberg. “And she has been coachable throughout the entire experience… I think she's really excited to continue to work in the offseason and get better. And I think there's some really unique ways that her game can expand because she has that raw ability… I'm excited for her and everybody else and what the offseason can bring and do for them.”