One of the greatest women's basketball players to ever take the floor at Carnesecca Arena, Da'Shena Stevens is coming home to St. John's. Three years removed from a stellar career that saw her finish sixth on the school's all-time scoring list, Stevens has accepted a position on Joe Tartamella's coaching staff.
"It's with great pleasure that we welcome back a member of our family in Da'Shena," said Tartamella. "She left here as the most decorated player in program history and nobody could speak better to our program than someone who was an integral part of the history and the legacy that we've built over the last 10 years. We are all excited to welcome her back to the St. John's family."
Stevens, who graduated in 2012, scored 1,515 points during her collegiate career in red and white, the sixth-highest total in program history. The Stamford, Conn., native also pulled down 815 rebounds during her playing days, one of only three student athletes to grab more than 800 boards during a career.
"I am very excited to return to my alma mater in support of a program that I grew within and strongly believe in," said Stevens. "Coach Tartamella is one of the hardest working coaches I know and I am honored to be a part of his coaching staff."
Stevens received numerous accolades during her time at St. John's, highlighted by the BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year Award during her senior campaign in 2011-12. She was also a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award that season. For her successes on the court, Stevens was named to the All-BIG East Second Team, the All-Met First Team and the WBCA Regional All-America Team.
"I am delighted to welcome back one of our all-time scoring and rebounding leaders, but more importantly to welcome back and outstanding person who epitomizes the term student--athlete," said Associate Vice President for Athletics and Senior Women's Administrator Kathleen Meehan.
After sitting out the first 10 games of her senior season while rehabbing a knee injury, Stevens returned to average 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Red Storm. She captained St. John's to its most successful run in the NCAA Tournament that year, tallying double figures in all three tournament games as the Red Storm reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
As a junior, Stevens averaged 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game to find spots on the All-BIG EAST Second Team and the All-Met First Team, in addition to earning a place on the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team. Stevens is the only player in St. John's history to garner Academic All-District accolades. In the NCAA Tournament that season, Stevens grabbed 10 rebounds to help lead the Red Storm over Texas Tech before recording her 21st double-digit scoring performance of the season in the second round against Stanford.
Stevens' best season came as a sophomore in 2009-10, when she led the squad with 14.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. For her efforts, she was named Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America--the only player in program history to receive the honor-- and a WBCA Regional All-American. She also found a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team and took home MBWA All-Met Player of the Year accolades. In addition to her personal accomplishments, Stevens helped lead the Red Storm to a 25-7 record and the school's first of five-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Following her rookie campaign in 2008-09, Stevens became the first player at St. John's in 26 years to earn BIG EAST Freshman of the Year honors after being the only unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. She also garnered what would be the first of four-straight All-Met First Team selections.
Stevens played one year of professional basketball in Switzerland following her graduation from St. John's with a degree in accounting.
Prior to St. John's, Stevens spent the past year working at Wagner College as the athletic department's Director of Business and Finance, where she oversaw all business aspects of the school's 20 athletic programs.
Before Wagner, she spent a year as an assurance associate at McGladrey, LLP, working with the firm's engagement team on financial services, financial institutions and commercial clients.