NEW YORK, N.Y. -- All Shelby Coon wanted was to have an injury-free year so she could get back to enjoying fully what she loves, playing basketball.The former Briarcliff stand-out and current New York University senior had been hampered throughout her first two collegiate years, including her freshman year at the University of Albany, with plantar fascitis. Once Coon felt some relief in her foot, she suffered a concussion and sprained ankle in her first year/sophomore year at NYU.Coon, who led Briarcliff to the 2008 New York State Class B title, returned for her junior year and made her presence known, finishing second on the team in rebounding and field-goal percentage, and third in blocked shots.This season, Coon is a starting forward and doing what she has always done well -- rebounding. Coon is averaging 7.9 points a game a team-leading 11.7 rebounds a game. Coon had a season-high 15 rebounds against Mount St. Mary and also collected 14 against Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham.I was looking forward to this season, a lot, said Coon, who is majoring in economics. Being a senior and with all of the seniors on the team being my best friends, we were all excited for this year to see how well we can do.The Violets are currently 5-2 this season and return to action after finals and Christmas.Coon, who averaged 16.7 rebounds a game her senior year at Briarcliff. still has to contend with the plantar fascitis, but said she has had good days on game days.Its temperamental, but I have been able to get back to rebounding, which has been one of the rewarding things I do, Coon said.Coon admitted she spends ample time in the training room, and feels much better than in previous years.I am quicker laterally than I have ever been in my life, Coon said. My agility is better, my vertical is higher and my timing is much better.Once an opponent takes a shot, Coon has the mindset that the rebound will be hers. In that split second that the shot is released, Coon immediately analyzes everything from where the shot was released from, its trajectory, to knowing where her player is, to boxing out, to timing her jump. And, more often than not, Coon comes down with the rebound.I have the confidence that I can get that ball, Coon said. This has been my best year of basketball because it is great to be back. Hopefully, we will get a lot more wins.
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