Lady Hornet Earns D1 Basketball Scholarship
By ASHLEY ZHENG and VICTOR ZHENG
For most high school athletes, getting a D1 scholarship offer from a college is something that they can only dream of. For Suzan Morshed ’19, who received a scholarship from Jacksonville University in Florida, it’s become a reality.
Division One (D1) is the highest level of college athletics under the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). These colleges help train athletes for the professional level.
Only 15 scholarships were offered per D1 college, so the competition was fierce. Transferring from Lafayette High School in her sophomore year, Morshed had to make sure that her plays weren’t something scouts would forget.
“I had to dominate on the court to get my name out there,” said Morshed. “You have to be a ‘somebody’ to have a scout see you play, especially in New York, where girls’ basketball isn’t getting the attention it deserves. I played in a lot of outside teams and tournaments with some of the best girls in the country, and the competition level was crazy.”
Morshed’s skill is something she had to work for.
“My older brother, who is ten years older than me, has always wanted to play basketball at a professional level but couldn’t because of an injury,” said Morshed. “He used to take me to the park, and I watched him play.”
“I begged to be in the games,” she said, “even though I knew nothing about the sport and usually resorted to using the ‘granny shot.’ From then on, I would play basketball every day after school in Kelly Park until I could finally compete with my brother.”
“I also went through a really tough time in my life when I broke my ankle,” she said. “I was super slow on my feet and not as coordinated as I needed to be for this sport, so I hit the gym. I had to work for everything I have now.”
Morshed also makes sure she follows her diet to ensure peak performance.
“Now I definitely watch what I eat, but not after the season ends,” said Morshed. “I stay away from fatty foods. My mom’s cooking is usually the way to go: protein and a salad.”
Morshed earned titles that helped her through the process of recruitment.
“I was named Rose Classic Super Jam MVP in both 2018 and 2019, Rose Classic All-Star Game MVP, and I got to play in the Mayor’s Cup,” she said.
Morshed explained that she transferred from Lafayette because the academics were better here at Midwood.
“If I wanted to become a dermatologist, I had to be challenged,” she said. “The term ‘student athlete’ is what I’ve always lived by. Being a student always came before being an athlete.”
Morshed credits her coaches for always pushing her.
“Even though I sat out my entire sophomore year, Mr. Michael Moore and Mr. Jenny Ferrarin exposed me to a whole new side of basketball and believed in me, even when I stopped believing in myself,” she said.
But those who know her say Morshed might not be giving herself enough credit.
“I didn’t really have to push her because the things that were necessary for success, she already had,” said Mr. Moore. “I just had to hone her craft.”
Her teammates and coaches describe her as committed, hardworking, and loyal.
“She’s a great player and she gave her all to the team,” said Kiani Santiago ’20, one of Morshed’s teammates. “Every single night, she put her all on the court, she never held back, and she never took a day off, not even from practice. She was the person who always kept everyone focused during practice and games.”
Tina Chen ’19, another teammate, said, “She’s very talented, and she leads by example. She would be the first one at practice taking shots and practicing her moves, getting warmed up. We all saw the passion she had for basketball.”
Mr. Moore said, “It’s always exciting when you get a player of her caliber because it makes my job as a coach so much easier.”
“She just wanted it,” Mr. Moore said, “and that is rare in a young person. Her commitment, her willingness -- she just remains laser-focused on her goals.”