Carolyn Freeman, a senior guard and co-captain for the Saint Joseph’s women’s basketball team, loves to compete. Attending college and playing the game had always been her dream, but come senior year, while playing against Skidmore College, something magical happened that left her friends and family cheering ecstatically in the bleachers above.
Earlier this year, as her fans raised handwritten signs, Freeman executed a jump shot from near the foul line. With 23 seconds left on the clock, and just a few points shy of victory, everyone was counting on her to score big. Swoosh.
It wasn’t just any swoosh. It was the sound of a 1,000-point swoosh. Averaging 11.7 points per game and well-known for making three-point baskets, Freeman wowed the audience as she became the 19th member of the 1,000-Point Club at the college.
One of Freeman’s fans watching that day made the occasion even more special. Her mother, Linda Johnson Freeman ’81, had become the first member of the Saint Joseph’s 1,000 Point Club nearly three decades ago. She averaged 19.7 points per game during her career on campus.
“I loved playing the game,” says Linda, who graduated in 1981. “Everything about it: the practices, the bus rides, the games and most importantly, the team camaraderie.”
For the Freemans, basketball runs through their veins. Linda has been involved with the sport ever since the 8th grade, and coaches freshman girls’ basketball at McAuley High School. “I love sharing the love of the game with youth. I truly enjoy teaching the game and encouraging young women to work hard so they can reach their potential,” she says.
Carolyn knows what her mother expects from her as well. “But my mom has always had the drive to do well, and not just in basketball… I think I’m the same way,” she says.
Her mother ranks fourth among career scorers at Saint Joseph’s, having totaled 1,560 points. She was inducted into the Saint Joseph’s Hall of Fame in its 2000 inaugural season. She has always been the best shooter of the family, according to Carolyn.
Since Abbie Rice in 2004, Carolyn is the first player to reach 1,000 points, not far from a spot in the Top 10 in career scoring for the Monks.
Both Freemans agree that while approaching such a goal is exciting, the journey getting there was also nerve-wracking. “I didn’t want it to affect my game,” says Carolyn.
“Knowing Carolyn, I just knew that she would be happy when the milestone was reached, and she could move on towards her team goal of helping the Monks win games and advance as far as possible in the GNAC Tournament,” says her mom.
“I’ve been playing basketball basically since I was born,” says Carolyn. “It has always been a part of me.”
Now she joins her mother on the Royal Blue 1,000 point banner hanging high above the court.
By Kayla Collins ’11