Women's basketball set to honor seniors before Sunday's regular-season finale

L to R: Kayla Bomani, Nina Vukosavljevic, Maia Hood
L to R: Kayla Bomani, Nina Vukosavljevic, Maia Hood

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The NYIT women's basketball team will continue playing into the postseason. But Sunday's 1 p.m. matchup against Daemen will mark the final game of the regular season. And NYIT will honor four student-athletes in a pregame Senior Day ceremony: Nina Vukosavljevic, Maia Hood, Kayla Bomani and Kristen Kelly.

Vukosavljevic tallied her 1,000th career point with her first basket of the 2017-18 season. And she will leave NYIT as the program's all-time assists leader and second all time in points. Her numerous awards include being named first-team All-East Coast Conference last season as well as being voted this season's ECC Preseason Player of the Year.

Among Vukosavljevic's most memorable games is a 30-point outburst in the ECC semifinals last March, which allowed NYIT to snap Queens' 16-game winning streak. The victory arguably propelled NYIT to an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament.

"They were ranked in the region and also first in the conference and we beat them," Vukosavljevic said.

Vukosavljevic, a business management major from Belgrade, Serbia, and the team's point guard and co-captain, ranks first in Division II this season in assists per game at 7.0. She also is a scholar, having again earned selection to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll for her academic performance last semester. 

Hood, graduate student pursuing a master's degree in childhood education, spent only one season with the Bears. But she has made a big impact on the young squad. A co-captain who played at Lafayette College as an undergraduate, she twice has produced 28-point games this season and leads NYIT in both scoring and rebounding.

Hood, a forward, was named ECC Player of the Week on Dec. 11 and to the league's weekly honor roll on five other occasions. She also produced a 4.0 GPA for the fall semester.

"This year has meant a lot to me," Hood said. "I've had a really good time playing with everyone and getting to know the girls. The chemistry on the team is really good. It just feels nice to be on a team that works well on and off the court with each other and that has coaches that push you and just care a lot about you."

Said coach Kenny Parham: "We essentially have two seniors in the starting lineup — Nina and Maia — and basically everyone else is really young. The leadership and the experience that Maia and Nina have brought have been instrumental."

A four-year member of the Bears after a standout career at Westbury High School, Bomani played in her 100th game with NYIT last weekend against District of Columbia. A nursing major, she was selected a co-captain this season because of her leadership skills. Bomani is shooting 53.8 percent from the field this season while appearing in 17 games.

"The last four years I was able to meet a lot of great people and was able to travel to a lot of places in the country, including going to California," Bomani said. "Overall, it's been a great experience. I'd encourage anyone to be a part of."

Kelly appeared in 52 games over her first three seasons at NYIT before stepping away this season to focus on academics. She will remain at the school for two more years while pursuing a master's degree as a physician's assistant.