One of the best players in the history of the SAU Tech Lady Rockets basketball program is sophomore guard Sh'Diamod McKnight, who will soon be taking her collegiate level to a higher level.
After two stellar seasons with the Lady Rockets, McKnight has committed to play for the Mississippi Valley State Devilettes. She committed after a recent visit to Itta Bena, Miss., when she learned about the program with fellow Lady Rockets sophomore guard Jaylia Reed.
McKnight has been one of the most versatile and dynamic playmakers for the Lady Rockets in the last two seasons. This season, McKnight played in 21 games, including 18 as a starter. She averaged 11.6 points per game, shooting a field-goal percentage of 52.7% and a free-throw percentage of 60.9%. She also averaged 4.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and a team-high 4.1 steals per game.
McKnight had 10 games this season where she scored at least 10 points. Her biggest offensive performance came in the 72-57 home win over National Park on Jan. 21, when she scored 29 points shooting 10-of-14 in field goals, 3-of-5 from the three-point arc and 6-of-8 at the free-throw line.
Her biggest contribution as a player is being a court general and a facilitator to the Lady Rockets' offense. She is able to analyze the court with her teammates as well as the opposing defense and set up shots for her teammates to score efficiently. The most assists she accounted for in a game was in the 85-38 dominating road win over Williams Baptist College JV, when she accounted for 14 assists.
McKnight is also a tenacious player who can drive to the basket, contend for rebounds and create lockdown defense in man-on-man. Her ability to read opponents translates to the defensive end of the court, as she can force players to commit turnovers through bad passes or she can account for the steals herself. McKnight finished 22nd in the nation in steals per game as a highly efficient defender.
She was named to this year's First-Team All-Region team after being named to the Second-Team in her freshman season. McKnight was a leader on and off the court for two of the most successful Lady Rockets teams in program history. In the 2021-2022 season, the Lady Rockets finished with an overall record of 17-8 and a conference record of 6-4. Under the leadership of McKnight, Jordan Shelton and Alexandria Johnson, the Lady Rockets would go on to win their first conference tournament championship and first-ever appearance in the NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament in program history.
This season, under the leadership of McKnight, Reed and Mia Hardin, the Lady Rockets dominated the regular season, finishing with an overall record of 19-2 and a perfect conference record of 10-0. The Lady Rockets were just short of making their goals after suffering a shocking loss in the conference tournament championship game when they fell to the Arkansas State Mid-South Lady Greyhounds 68-62.
SAU Tech finished the year with their best overall record in program history at 20-3. McKnight's presence on and off the court has been huge and can be used as a developmental piece to turn it into an even better program. She leaves a legacy for the Lady Rockets' basketball program.
Now, she will attempt to do the same for the Devilettes program at the Division I level.