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IMG Academy basketball program Alum Excels at Marshall

IMG Academy Alumn Erica during impactful freshman season at Marshall University

Erica Woods originally from St. George's Bermuda, came to the United States in 2007 to attend IMG Basketball Academy. Excelling her talent here in Bradenton, Fla. she was able to gain attention and eventually a spot on Marshall University's women's basketball team. Making an immediate impact as a key contributor to Marshall's 12-6 record playing in 25 games. Woods life soon changed as she became a mother to her son (Zion), as she sat out the 2010 season as a medical red shirt to focus on motherhood.

Read the full article in The Parthenon:

Woods first stop was the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

"I really liked IMG in Florida," Woods said. "It was a new experience, but I had a lot of fun learning at the basketball academy."

Woods played in 25 games as a true freshman in 2009, but was forced to sit out the entire 2010 season due to a pregnancy. Zion Woods, Erica's son, is 11 months old.

"He (Zion) is my number one priority," Woods said.

Woods said the year she was forced to sit out has actually made her a better student of the game.

"While I sat out that year, I attended a lot of home games, and I began to study my opponents and gained a better understanding about everything that was going on within the game from an outside perspective," Woods said. "I've also become a better teammate. With me being a mom now, I'm more nurturing to the younger players because I have been there before. I've become a better leader."

Royce Chadwick, head coach for the Marshall women's team has also noticed the maturation and leadership of Woods.

"When it comes to Erica, I'm most impressed with her adaptability," Chadwick said, "She is extremely versatile and has played three different positions for our team. She can play inside and out and do both with tremendous effectiveness. She is a team leader and plays the game with great composure and poise. She is an outstanding leader sets the tone for her practice play as she leads by example."

Woods participated in the European Champion Games in 2009 representing the Great Britain Under 20 women's team that placed ninth in the tournament. When asked if she would like to represent her country in the 2012 London Olympics, Woods said she remained optimistic about her chances.

"My original intentions were to play, but obviously I have a son now," Woods said. "I'm really just doing the school and basketball thing right now, trying to be a good student athlete and an even better mom, but if I had the chance to play, I would love the opportunity."

IMG Academy focal point is on producing the TOTAL ATHLETE focusing on preparing students for a successful life in college as a full-time student-athlete. Since having her son, Woods number one focus is being the best mother possible. On top of motherhood, Woods continues to mature as a student and as an athlete, Woods is still hopeful to represent her country in the 2012 Olympic games, in addition to already competing on the Great Britain's U-20 women's team in 2009.

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