Most athletes will say they don’t play for individual awards and that they play for team success instead. That doesn’t exclude Sacred Heart University freshman point guard Ny’Ceara Pryor, who plays for the women’s basketball team.
Pryor has won three straight Northeast Conference (NEC) Rookie of the Week awards, becoming the first player in program history since 2019 to receive back-to-back weekly awards.
However, what is even more impressive is that Pryor is the first player in program history since 2011 to win back-to-back Rookie of the Week honors.
“I just go in there and play, that’s what I’ve been doing,” said Pryor. “My teammates and my coaches trust me, so when I have the ball, I just do what I have to do.”
Pryor leads the Pioneers in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game, which is why she’s been able to rack up these awards.
“There’s definitely a change, different pace and height difference,” Pryor said when asked about the adjustment from high school to college basketball. “Coming from high school to college is definitely an adjustment just because I’m small, so the biggest adjustment is that you have to work overtime.”
Pryor’s consistency and results come from hard work in the offseason.
“The thing I worked on most was my pull-up jumper and being composed,” said Pryor. “That’s very important when you’re at the point guard position.”
Pryor had two 20-point games in a three-game span, posting a career-high 24 points against Iona University. Two games later against Florida Atlantic University, she put up 23 points.
Along with her talented offensive abilities, Pryor was named a Defensive Player of the Year award winner before her Pioneer days.
“It was always defense first, then I worried about the offense,” said Pryor. “Defense is a lot about pride, you don’t want somebody to keep attacking you and you don’t want to be the weakling on the team either. A lot of times the other team goes after the weakling and I don’t want to be that just because I’m small,” said Pryor.
“Family” was a word used more than once while Pryor was discussing her recruitment to SHU.
“The biggest thing for me was the education part and then feeling like a family,” said Pryor. “I wanted something that would feel like a home away from home, and that’s exactly what I felt and that’s why I chose this school.”
Although Pryor has had the hot hand on the team, the team as a whole has not been off to a hot start, having a 1-7 record through their first eight games. This has not changed Pryor’s mentality toward the season.
“We are progressing every day,” said Pryor when asked about the team’s overall slow start.
Pryor’s individual success takes a back seat to the goals she has for the team.
“I never really thought about my individual goals, because I can’t do it by myself,” said Pryor. “It’s never been about individual success, if that comes it comes.”
The Pioneers are looking to end a seven-game losing streak on Dec. 7 when they host Bryant University before traveling across town to play Fairfield University on Dec. 11.
Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.