Two years later, that player, Danielle Robinson, is a major reason the Sharks are the No. 1 seed and host of the
The Sharks will play No. 8 seed Clark Atlanta at 6 p.m. in the third quarterfinal of the day.
"She's been tremendous to help lay the foundation for the program we're building here," Freeland said.
She's also a captain and "the heart of the team," Freeland noted, as well as the team's clear vocal leader, said teammate Meixandra Porter, a senior guard.
"One of the reasons why I came here was that I really bought into [Freeland's] vision and her plan for this program and I really wanted to be a part of it," Robinson said.
Robinson, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, helped lead the Bulldogs to the Class 6A state semifinals in back-to-back years (2010-11) and was received All-State honors as a senior when she averaged 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals.
She followed that up with an impressive first year at NSU. Averaging 13.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists, she was named Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year and also to the Women's Division II Bulletin All-America Freshman team as the Sharks finished 17-11. This year, they're 20-8 with Robinson ranking second on the team in points (17.3), rebounds (5.5) and steals (2.1) per game.
She was also named the SSC's Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Freeland said Robinson is one the best on-ball defenders in the nation.
"I love to play defense. I take pride in defense. I don't want anybody to score on me or my team," Robinson said. "Having that mindset you're not going to score is a mindset I try to take to the team and get through to my teammates also. Because you have to play defense to win championships. That's how I see it."