NCAA Awards Ebony Felder Sixth Year

ATHENS - The NCAA has awarded Georgia's Ebony Felder a sixth year to complete her collegiate eligibility, Lady Bulldog head coach Andy Landers announced on Sunday.

Felder, a 6-2, forward who was ranked as one of the nation's top-10 recruits out of Murrah High School in Jackson, Miss., arrived in Athens in the fall of 2000 but missed the 2000-01 campaign due to shoulder injuries. She did not play last season (2004-05) after undergoing a tibial tubercle transfer to realign the patellar tendon in her left knee. She is still rehabilitating that knee and her playing status for the 2005-06 season is unknown.

"It's great that the NCAA has seen fit to grant Ebony this sixth year," Landers said. "Hopefully, her rehab will continue to go well and the doctors will clear her. Regardless, I'm excited that Ebony has this option."

Felder played the entire 2001-02 campaign and was a Freshman All-SEC selection but then missed a great deal of 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons due to injuries. In both of those seasons, she was able to return and make significant contributions during the post-season.

"In a sense, I just don't think I could give up basketball without at least trying, even after this last surgery," Felder said. "Compared to the other two years, last year probably wasn't as hard because I was more focused on the surgery and rehab. I didn't have time to dwell on not playing because I knew there was no way I would be physically able. It wasn't going to happen. The previous two years, I had success coming back and that was a deciding factor in trying to come back this season."

In 2003 after not seeing action in just over three months, Felder averaged 13.5 points and connected on 81.3 percent of her field goals in Georgia's NCAA Tournament games against No. 23 Rutgers and No. 2 Duke.

In 2004, Felder did not play at all until early February but still made significant contributions during the rest of the season. Most notably, she averaged 12.5 points and made 80.0 percent of her field goals in the Lady Bulldogs' wins over Florida and No. 1 Tennessee in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the SEC Tournament.

The 2005-06 Lady Bulldogs return all five starters and four more letterwinners from last year's squad which finished 24-10 and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to Felder, a fifth returning letterwinner, Georgia also will welcome a group of newcomers which includes: 6-5 Angel Robinson, a consensus first-team prep All-American; 6-6 Reicina Russell, a sophomore transfer who was a Big Ten All-Freshman performer for Penn State in 2003-04; and guard Danielle Taylor, the MVP of the 2005 Georgia North/South All-Star game.

Georgia is slated to open the season by facing defending national champion Baylor in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday, Nov. 13. The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Bears will square off at 12:00 ET on espn2, with LSU taking on Texas Tech in the second game of the doubleheader.

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