Prairie View A&M’s Gaati Werema was selected as the 2007-08 Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year. Alabama A&M’s Christian Malone was named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Werema, a 6’0 sophomore forward from Orlando, Fla., led the conference in rebounds last season, averaging 10.2 rebounds per game. She was also fourth in scoring with 14.8 ppg. Werema helped lead her team to the school’s first winning season in women’s basketball, with an overall record of 19-13. The Lady Panthers shared the regular season SWAC title with Jackson State University. In the 2007 SWAC Basketball Tournament, the Lady Panthers went on to win their first tournament title.
Malone, a 5’8 senior guard from Athens, Ala., led the Lady Bulldogs in steals, averaging 2.1 per game. She also led the conference in free throw percentage (.833) and was second in assists, averaging 3.97 per game. The Lady Bulldogs finished third in the conference with a 17-13 overall record, 13-5 in the SWAC.
Joining Werema on the preseason first team are Jackson State guard LaSharee Christian, Mississippi Valley State forward Portia Wilson, Prairie View A&M guard Shavonne Smith and Southern University center Fredrieka Lewis.
Malone is joined on the second team by fellow teammate Felicia Drummond from Alabama A&M, Arkansas-Pine Bluff guard Arica Green, Alcorn State forward Shawntawnee Collins and Texas Southern center Ashlee Norwood.