MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 29, 2020) - Rhodes College women's basketball 2014 graduate and former head coach (2017-2019), Lauren (Avant) Sumski has been named to the third team of the D3hoops.com 2010-2020 All-Decade Team.
Sumski, a Memphis native who guided the Lynx to two NCAA Division III appearances, earned first-team All-America honors twice in her career (2013, 2014). She is fifth all-time as a Lynx with 1,373 career points in just three years and holds five single-season records: total points (692), points per game (25.6), field goals made (240), free throws made (180) and free throws attempted (241).
"Lauren was one of the greatest athletes and women's basketball players in the history of our program," said former head coach Matt Dean. "As proud as I am of her accomplishments on the floor, I'm equally proud of how she has become one of the finest coaches of the sport of women's basketball. She led us to two SAA championships as a player, then returned to coach her school to another title. Not many can say that."
Sumski, now an NCAA Division I head coach at Lipscomb University, is the only person to win a Southern Athletic Association Tournament Championship both as a player and as a coach.
D3hoop.com All-Decade Profile on Sumski:
Guard - Lauren (Avant) Sumski
2011 - 2014
All-American selections: 2013 (1st), 2014 (1st)
All-Region selections: 2013 (1st), 2014 (Player of the Year)
Conference MVP: 2014
NCAA Tournament appearances: 2013 (Second round), 2014 (Second round)
From the archives
- Off Rhodes: Sumski goes to D1 (April 2019)
Lynx star takes the Rhodes home to coach alma mater (March 2017)
Avant full of determination (March 2014)
What others say: "She has definitely beaten the odds. Those three [ankle reconstruction, torn Achilles', Bankart tear of the labrum] are all big injuries. Anyone of them could be career-ending to a basketball player. The number of people who can come back from all three of those and still perform at a high level is really small." -- Dr. Owen Tabor, orthopedic physician
In their own words: "During my time at Rhodes College, I had the opportunity to compete with and against some of the highest caliber student-athletes, coaches and programs in the country. While Rhodes is definitely renowned as a rigorous academic institution in the South, Memphis is, by and large, a basketball city. Being able to bring those two worlds together and host the opening rounds of the National Tournament, two years in a row, will always be my favorite memories of mine. I am forever grateful to Rhodes for giving me the opportunity to finish my studies, finish my playing career, and to start my coaching career."
Where are they now: Head coach at Division I Lipscomb University
Career Synopsis: Lauren (Avant) Sumski's basketball career reads like a Who's who of Tennessee college basketball. She trained with former Memphis University Tiger and NBA MVP Derrick Rose. She honed her jump shot with the son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West. When she was in just eighth grade, Sumski was offered a scholarship by the University of Tennessee legendary head coach Pat Summit. A couple of years later, Sumski won a state title at the high school level and a national title at the AAU level. Sadly, a series of injuries followed, starting with a serious car accident in her senior year of high school and continuing through her freshman season with the Volunteers. Eventually, she decided to transfer to Division III Rhodes College so she could focus more on her academic pursuits while still playing basketball.
Despite even more injuries, Sumski became one of the best players at this level. She led the SAA in scoring and steals and finished in the top five for rebounds and assists, while also leading the Lynx to the NCAA Tournament. In her senior year, Sumski finished second in the country in scoring and was the player of the year in the SAA regular season and conference tournament.
After graduating from Rhodes College, Sumski returned to take over the Lynx program from her former head coach Matt Dean. Sumski led Rhodes back to the NCAA Tournament two seasons later, making her the only person to win an SAA championship as a player and a coach.
The full 2010-2010 All-Decade Team can be found here. Her coaching bio with the Lynx can be found here.