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Women's 'quiet giant' breaks school record

By Ashley Melfi, Staff Writer

Senior center Jess Fuller has made it her mission to achieve greatness in her few years here at Hofstra, including breaking the Hofstra women's basketball record for blocked shots in a career this past week with number 176.

Fuller is no stranger to holding records. Back in her high school in Queens, NY, she was and still is a revered athlete. Humbly, Fuller remembers her achievements fondly and compares those achievements to her current record-breaking experience, one she broke in only two seasons. "I got in the Hall of Fame [back in high school] too so I guess just having [my] name still be around when [I am] gone, it's like [I have] achieved something, and it will still be here when I leave. Just having [my] legacy left behind is cool and is a great achievement," said Fuller.

With her older cousin Brandon as a big influence on her love of the sport, Fuller was inspired from a young age to play tough and aggressive. "[Basketball] is an exciting sport, you get a rush when you play especially when you win, it feels so good," she said. The soft-spoken award-winner also has a good attitude when looking forward to the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association tournament. "We have to look at each game as it comes, we just don't want it to end like it did last year, you know, William and Mary, we lost to them in the first game there, we don't want that to happen again," Fuller said.

Fuller transferred to Hofstra after a brief stint at Monroe Community College. Once she arrived in 2007-2008, Fuller injured herself just five games into the season and was sidelined for the rest. That season, Hofstra women's basketball had a record of 5-25. A less than satisfying outcome led both the team and Fuller to strive higher. Fuller was able to recover from her injury and "that's what basically motivated me to get back in the game, I didn't want to have another 5 and 25 season."

With both pride and sadness, head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey reflected on Fuller's accomplishments in both the sport and as a person. She is of course disappointed on her pending departure later this year, "She is the epitome of consistency and is the heart and soul to this team…she's so humble, she doesn't even know how good she is; it will be painful to [see] her leave."

In Sunday's win against the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Fuller was injured five minutes into the game and sat out the rest of the time. Fuller hopes to recover quickly; the women's next game is Thursday, February 11 against Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kilburn-Stevesky compared Fuller to a "quiet giant." "I wish she had four years here, she's the best thing to happen to the program." With accolades and praises like these, the six-foot four-inch tall center will surely be missed after this season's close and her approaching graduation from the university.
 

Senior center Jess Fuller broke the Hofstra career blocks record last week at George Mason. (Sean M. Gates/ The Chronicle)

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