NEW YORK (NCAA) - A New Zealand Tall Fern has been causing quite a stir in American college basketball of late.
Erin Rooney, who represented her country at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Turkey, is averaging 22.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game for the Fordham Rams this season.
A 1.73m point guard, the Christchurch native poured in a career-high 27 points in a 56-40 triumph over Cincinnati in the Lady Rebels Round-Up championship game that was recently played in Las Vegas.
That performance helped Rooney earn the honor as Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week.
A red-shirt senior, Rooney is majoring in integrative neuroscience.
She has been a star on the rise since attending Marian College in New Zealand and being named the MVP of the U19 New Zealand National Tournament in 2008.
Rooney suited up for the Tall Ferns at the FIBA Oceania Championship for Women the following year and her basketball prowess then took her to Monmouth University in New Jersey.
After starting all 33 games as a sophomore with the Hawks and being named a captain, she elected to transfer to Fordham University in New York City.
As a transfer, Rooney had to sit out the entire 2011-12 campaign.
She then made a major splash in her first year with the Rams, becoming the first Fordham player ever to claim a First Team All-Atlantic 10 spot after averaging 13.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
Here is why Rooney scooped her latest player of the week honor.
In a 66-62 win over American University in the Bronx, Rooney had 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
Then in a 72-63 victory over the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Rooney made eight of 12 shots from the field and scored 20 points while also corralling seven boards and handing out three assists.
In the big win over Cincinnati, she shot nine of 17 from the floor and seven of 10 at the free-throw line.
Fordham have won six of their eight games this season.
On Saturday, they will be in Worcester, Massachusetts, for a game against Holy Cross.
Their first conference game will be at home in the Bronx against Saint Louis University on 2 January.