Women’s basketball games are not always the most well attended competitions at East Carolina University, but there are many different reasons why everyone should fit one in. One of the biggest reasons to go, is to see star junior guard Lashonda Monk dominate on defense.
Monk has played an important part in the team’s fight to become a winning team. With her total of 890 minutes and an average of 33.0 minutes per game, she runs the stat sheet. On 408 field goal attempts she has made 141 of them for a .346 field goal percentage. She also has made 71 out of her 93 free throws for a .727 percentage. Not only that, but standing at 5’6”, she has a total of 111 rebounds, averaging 4.1 per game.
One of her biggest accomplishments is having 297 steals, taking the school’s record for most career steals while only in her junior year at ECU. Out of her 297 steals, 108 of them have come from this season alone.
“I think I'm just going to make it hard for anybody else to beat it,” Monk said. “I’m only a junior so I have another year to rack up a lot of steals.”
She also recently scored her milestone 1,000-career point with 395 of them coming from this season alone. With these goals accomplished she still has another year to build on her records.
Monk is from Greensboro, North Carolina where she was raised by Devon and LaShon Monk. In high school she was just as dominant earning titles as an All-Conference player as well as the Piedmont Triad Conference Player-of-the-Year. She was also rated a top-150 prospect.
“My dad is my biggest inspiration because he always pushes me to be the best that I can be,” Monk said. “He and my family want the best for me so they really inspire me.”
Her freshman year, she had 11 starts and appeared in all 31 games. She led the team in scoring the AAC games with an average of 9.2 points. She also had 75 steals, tying for the seventh-highest single season total in ECU history.
During her sophomore campaign, she had 29 starts and 30 game appearances. She was named Second-Team All-AAC and led ECU in scoring in assists. She set another record for steals in the AAC with 116. She finished fifth in the nation for steals per game.
Her decision to attend ECU was cemented by the family culture that the team has. She said that she still has that family connection with players who were on the team during her freshman and sophomore years.
“It’s like a real family away from my home family,” Monk said. “We are really close with each other and the coaches. It feels really good to be a part of this family.”
𝗣𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗮 𝗝𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘆, 𝗣𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁, 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗸 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗱𝗿𝗼𝗽 𝗯𝘂𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘁𝘀💯 pic.twitter.com/aA78OP1yeT— ECU Women’s Basketball (@ECUWomensHoops) February 22, 2020
Head coach Kim McNeill says that she has been given a “god given talent” that cannot be taught. This is due to her never stop attitude where she gives 100% at all times. Her effort is always there, and it shows through her stats and on the court.
“She takes everything very personal,” McNeill said. “She loves basketball and just her drive when she’s out there on the floor. Her ability to react with steals, it's just things that she has that you can't teach. It's just a god given talent that she has been given.”
She is a relatively quiet person off the court which is surprising to her coach because of how feisty and fearless she is on the court. This season, however, the coaching staff has asked her to become more vocal and step up as a leader on the team. This has been something that she is not used to, but McNeill says that she is adjusting well and will become an even better leader next year.
Monk can often be seen before games listening to her favorite hype music. According to Monk it gets her mind right and ready to compete and is somewhat of a pre-game ritual for her. Off the court Monk says she likes to draw in her free time and she is currently a communications major.
“The thing I’m the most proud of with Lashonda is not the work she's doing on the court, it's the work she's doing off the court and people that don't know her won’t understand what I'm saying, but she's starting to mature, getting her head on her shoulders and carrying herself in a really good way,” McNeill said. “She did really well in the classroom last semester and I'm just really proud of her growth off the court.”
Monk has been a go to player for the Pirates through her career. She continues to improve and impress her coaches. She has three games left to play in her junior year and it is exciting to see how she will become better to lead into her senior season.