Danielle Chambers doesn’t get the back pages. She’s not asked the big questions after games.
Her name doesn’t come up much – not nearly as often as Angela Clark and Kia Wright – and that’s perfectly alright with her.
“I don’t mind,” the senior said casually. “You’ve got to give credit where credit is due and they’re great players.”
To take her advice to heart, she deserves a lot of credit herself.
Boasting an average of 9.0 points per game and 8.9 rebounds so far this season, Chambers is a balanced, steadying force on the St. John’s women’s basketball team
She is the team leader in rebounds, having had eight games in double figures. She’s also had 10 games with double-digit points.
What is the cause of this surge from last year’s numbers?
“Last year, I had a lot of injuries,” Chambers said. “It kind of limited my mobility.”
She added: “I worked on the off-season [on] just strengthening my body.”
Her best season at St. John’s couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only is it her last year playing in Queens but also the best year the team has had in over two decades, not coincidentally.
“I try to contribute wherever I can because days are winding down,” Chambers says. “There’s no tomorrow for the seniors – this is it. You never know when St. John’s is going to be this good again so you have to get the best out of everybody.”
With a strong assemblage of players and even stronger team chemistry, that is what St. John’s has gotten out of its women.
“I’m friends with everyone on the team,” Chambers had to say about the team chemistry. “We are a unit off the court so we function as a unit on the court. It’s what makes us who we are.”
As a veteran on the team, Chambers provides leadership to the newcomers and a friend to come to when they’re just having a bad day.
“A lot of people transfer because their first year is so horrible,” Chambers says with a laugh. “So, we try to make sure that our freshmen are comfortable and happy-They just walk in and become part of our family.”
This combination of on-court and off-court greatness is what has led to St. John’s 18-5 record and the team getting the recognition that it deserves.
“When I first came here, no one even knew we had a basketball team,” joked Chambers.
“Now, attendance at women’s games is up and so is school spirit. We managed to get St. John’s on the map.”
Not only on the local map, either. St. John’s earned its first national ranking in 22 years and is most likely headed for the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re going to try to get the rest of our wins,” Chambers said. “That’s important to make sure that we set ourselves up for an NCAA bid. That’s our No. 1 goal.”
As for her game plan, it will be the same it’s been all season: “I just do whatever I have to do to win – whatever it takes.”