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“I was really big on making sure my presence is known here in the GLVC, Last season I felt as though I was overlooked by a lot of [people], I’m here I’m ready and I’m going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
Standing at 6-foot-1-inch, Forward Syerra Cunningham has dominated the court and embodies what it means to be a UIS prairie star basketball player.
First in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in rebounds, fourth in blocks and a top 10 scorer, Syerra’s work ethic has defined her senior year.
In UIS’ first game of the season, Syerra tied the program’s single-game record of 19 rebounds in a win against Lake Superior State.
In a mid-season game against Rockhurst University Syerra Cunningham became the program’s all-time leading rebounder surpassing alumni Elizabeth Kelly, who had 625 rebounds from 2011-14.
This comes as no surprise, Syerra has been paving her way to greatness for a long time.
Back in her home town of Beach Park IL, Syerra earned herself All-County performer three times in a row as well as averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds a game her senior season at Zion Benton High School.
Her freshmen year of college Syerra played five games for SIUE before transferring to UIS and becoming a starter for the next three seasons.
In the 2014-15 season, Syerra averaged 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. In the 2015-16 season she averaged 9.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and this season she’s averaging 12.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
Last year Syerra was ranked 2nd on the team in points totaling 247 for the season and this year she’s well on her way of topping that with already 244 points scored so far.
Syerra’s success didn’t come without challenge. Her junior year, Syerra tore her meniscus but she didn’t let that slow her down. Mid way through the season last semester Syerra bounced back and averaged 13.4 rebounds over the last eight games.
Over the summer Syerra said she changed her workout regimen and lost twenty pounds. “I feel great; this is the best shape I’ve ever been in.”
Practice pays off, this has been Syerra’s best and with only a few games left of the season it looks as if Syerra will be ending on a high note.
Beyond basketball Syerra plans on graduating at the end of the spring semester and has applied for the MPH program here at UIS. Syerra is also engaged to Jarrod Coleman and looks forward to starting her life after college.