Excellent college career drawing to a close for Montreat's Duncan

By DALLAS COOK

STAR Staff

   If you're searching for one of the top female basketball players in the region, look no further than Montreat College, where senior Amanda Duncan has carried her Lady Cavalier squad while breaking record after record.
   "Amanda will be a great success in life because of her commitment to hard work throughout preparation in the classroom and on the court," said Montreat coach Joseph Hagan. "If the AAC (Appalachian Athletic Conference) ever gave an award for lifetime achievement, it should go to Amanda Duncan."
   Not only is she a four-year starter on the court, off the court Duncan has done a tremendous job in the classroom, maintaining a grade point average of 3.93 while earning her second NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete award.
   While Montreat stands at 16-5 and 10-3 in the AAC, Duncan has been a key reason for the success of the Cavaliers in 2001-2002.
   "Amanda has anchored our offense and defense ever since she arrived on campus," said Hagan.
   Three categories that Duncan has excelled in have been career rebounds with 805 (1st all-time) including 205 this season (all-time single season record), and career blocked shots with 168 (1st all-time).
   "Having the opportunity to play at the collegiate level has been an awesome experience," Duncan said. "Not only has my game improved but also as a person I've grown."
   Sounds like a lot doesn't it? Well that's not all. She is seventh all-time in Montreat history with 1,018 points, fourth all-time in career field goal percentage (49.4), eighth all-time in career steals (130) and currently lead the team in rebounds (8.0 rpg) and blocks (2.1 bpg).
   Another advantage for Duncan was that she has played against girls at other conference schools that she played against in high school, and knowing what their talent was already like.
   "I've been able to play against some girls that I played in high school," Duncan said. "A lot of the teams in the conference have Carter County players and that's been a neat experience."
   You can simply sum it up by saying that Duncan is a class act that not only has a bright future ahead of her, but will also leave behind a standard for other athletes to follow.
   "When it's all said and done, Amanda will be viewed as one of the most important and successful student-athletes to have ever graduated from Montreat College," Hagan said. She has meant a great deal to this school."
   Since playing basketball Duncan credits her family for being her fan club, which include her parents, Norman and Diana Duncan, and sisters Audrey and Amber (who is a standout for the Happy Valley Middle school team).
   "My family has been able to make just about every ballgame," Duncan said. "The support that I've had from them all four years has been great. They've been there through the good and the bad.
   "My parents are very dedicated, committed and loving. Through the academics and sports they've been very supporting. That's something that most kids don't have, so I feel blessed for that."
   After graduating from Montreat as a Sports Management major, Duncan will be attending graduate school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she hopes to get a graduate assistant position in the athletic department.