Georgia at Alabama
Where: Coleman Coliseum
When: Sunday at 5 p.m.
Records: Georgia 16-10, 7-6 SEC; Alabama 12-14, 4-9 SEC
Broadcast: SEC Network
Radio: 100.1 FM
One of the most bitter-sweet games of a player’s career: Senior Night.
It’s the culmination of the hard work over four years reaching a final point, but it still signals the end of a career.
Alabama women’s basketball will honors its seniors Sunday against Georgia. It will recognize its two seniors 15 minutes before the 5 p.m. tipoff.
“Four years flies by fast,” guard Taylor Berry said. “I can’t believe that it’s happened as quickly as it has, but I’m still really excited about what we have left in this season.”
Alabama’s two seniors took very different paths to Alabama.
Shaquera Wade, out of Huntsville High School, was the No. 48 player in the country according to ESPN.
She played in 30 games, earning eight starts with UA. Since her freshman year, she’s come off the bench just 10 times in 96 games.
In her four years, she’s played in 126 games, which is eighth all-time in program history, and started in 95 games, which is 10th all-time.
Wade earned a name for herself by playing defense, especially by the way she causes turnovers. She averages 1.4 steals a game and is tied for seventh in program history with 176. She’s just six away from sixth.
“I have to give all credit to my coaches and my teammates, because they pushed me to go hard at practice, go hard every day,” Wade said. “Sometimes, I may not agree, but I know they just do it to push me and make me the best that I can be.”
Berry came to Alabama from Mount Carmel Academy (New Orleans) as a walk on. She wasn’t on her scholarship her first two seasons. She played in 19 games in those two years, scoring five total points.
Right after the team’s first fall practice in 2017, she received her scholarship.
Her senior year has been her best, with career highs in every category. She’s played more minutes this year (134) and scored more points (15) than she did the other three years combined (119 and eight, respectively).
“It’s meant a lot, just across the board,” Berry said.
Outside of their accomplishments on the court, Berry and Wade have left their mark on coach Kristy Curry’s young team.
“They’ve had a lot on their shoulders,” Curry said. “They’ve had their hearts in the right place. They’ve done everything they can do… That’s why they are going to be ultra-successful.”
The Crimson Tide has set several milestones while the two were on the roster. In the duo’s freshman year (2015), Alabama defeated Tennessee for the first time in 42 games. Alabama is on a five-game winning streak against the Volunteers.
Alabama also finished with back-to-back 20-win seasons.
“They have moved this program forward,” Curry said. “Because they have, we will continue to move it forward. I think the greatest compliment as a senior is saying ‘I left it better than I found it.’ These two have definitely left it better than they found it.”