St. Francis College’s Nevena Dimitrijevic named ECAC’s top rookie
The Terriers' 'floor general' capped her freshman campaign with a coveted honor.
Freshman sensation Nevena Dimitrijevic certainly made the most of her first season in Brooklyn Heights.
The St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers’ first-year guard finished eighth in the nation in assists per game, took home the Northeast Conference’s Rookie of the Year award and was an All-NEC Second Team selection.
Dimitrijevic made even more history this week by becoming the first-ever SFC freshman to be tabbed the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Year.
“We are so proud of Nevena for earning the highly coveted ECAC Rookie of the Year honor,” said Terriers Head Coach Linda Cimino. “She was consistent all season long at the point (guard position) and had a record-breaking campaign for us.”
The 5-foot-3 native of Kragujevic, Serbia was also selected to the NEC’s All-Rookie squad after averaging 14.2 points per game, second-best on the team behind junior forwad Ally Lassen (14.4 ppg).
Dimitrijevic led the entire conference with 174 total assists, finished seventh in the league in steals with 1.79 per contest and boasted a brilliant 1.74 assist-to-turnover ration, good for second in the NEC.
According to Cimino, who guided the Terriers to an 8-21 overall record this past season, it was Dimitrijevic’s tireless work ethic that helped her break into the NEC with a bang.
“Her commitment to our program and the extra time she put in the gym on her own time was evident as she had one of the best rookie seasons in program history,” Cimino said.
Dimitrijevic, who captured a program-record seven NEC Rookie of the Week awards during her stellar campaign, began showing off her passing prowess with a 12-assist effort against NJIT on Nov. 26 before handing out a career-high 15 helpers in the annual Battle of Brooklyn game vs. LIU on Jan. 8.
But Dimitrijevic wasn’t just setting up her teammates that night against the Sharks. She also scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds, earning Battle of Brooklyn MVP honors while finishing one carom short of producing just the third triple-double in the history of SFC women’s basketball.
Dubbed the “floor general” by Cimino, Dimitrijevic, who also dropped a career-best 31 points against Bryant on Feb 10, figures to be a fixture in the Terriers’ program for the next three years as she pursues her degree in business and management.
“We are very excited about our future with her as our floor general, and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in the years to come,” Cimino said.
A pair of Long Island University hoopsters were also honored by the ECAC as redshirt senior Raiquan Clark received First Team status while sophomore Brandy Thomas of the women’s squad was named to the ECAC Second Team.
Clark, who became the men’s program’s all-time leading scorer this past year with 2,030 career points, led the NEC in scoring with 19.9 points per contest, ranking 29th overall in the nation among Division I players.
The New Haven, Connecticut native, whose season came to a close with the Sharks’ semifinal round loss in the NEC Tournament, averaged 7.5 rebounds per game and was eighth in the league with a .502 shooting percentage.
Thomas was honored by the ECAC for the second straight year after receiving the Rookie of the Year award last season.
The First Team All-NEC selection ranked fourth among league scorers with 14.7 points per game and scored in double figures 23 times in 30 games this season for the Sharks (8-22), including five 20-point outings.
Thomas also ranked fourth in the conference with eight double-doubles after pulling down 7.7 rebounds per game to go with a team-high 51 steals.
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