For Seton Hall University women's basketball senior Alexandra Maseko (Harare, Zimbabwe), the end of the 2012 Fall semester is truly extraordinary, in addition to all of the aforementioned responsibilities she is currently in Harare, Zimbabwe, to take part in a once in a lifetime opportunity, interviewing as a finalist to become a Rhodes Scholar.
Maseko was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in her native country of Zimbabwe, and will meet with the Rhodes selection committee in her hometown of Harare on Tuesday, Dec. 11, for the chance to be selected as one of two recipients from the African nation.
"The Rhodes Scholarship was something that I wasn't quite expecting to come across in college, so it was a blessing in that sense," said Maseko. "I was fortunate enough to be approached by Peter Hines of Academic Services here at Seton Hall and he let me know that I should apply for it. Luckily I was accepted as a finalist."
Maseko's whirlwind week began with a road trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., where the Pirates faced Wake Forest University on Saturday afternoon, with Maseko starting the game and tying for the team lead with eight rebounds.
Seton Hall returned to South Orange, late Saturday evening, and the next day it was back to the airport to begin her trip to Zimbabwe.
Maseko, a political science major with a 3.824 cumulative grade point average, will participate in the lengthy interview process during the day on Tuesday with the hope or being selected to commence graduate studies at University of Oxford in the Fall of 2013.
A few days later she will return to New Jersey to put the finishing touches on her fall semester, and of course get ready for the Pirates' next game on Sunday, Dec. 16, against Mount St. Mary's University.
Appearing in 71 games over her four year career and starting at forward in all nine games so far this season, Maseko is averaging 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best 46.0 percent from the floor.
She recorded the first double-double of her career with 11 points and 10 rebounds against South Dakota earlier this season, and is averaging career-best number is points per game, rebounds per game and shooting percentage.
But off the court Maseko realizes that even receiving the opportunity to be selected as a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship is a spectacular feat, and one she hopes to be fully able to take advantage of.
"It has been a great journey. I had to go through a lengthy application process, write multiple essays and it was challenging to complete alongside my school work and basketball, but it has been fun," Maseko said. "I am happy to have the chance to apply; everyone here at Seton Hall has been really supportive of me from the coaching staff to academic services as well. They really want me to get it so I hope I make them proud."
Maseko is attempting to become the second Seton Hall women's basketball player in program history to study at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar; Annick Labadie ('07), who was the first Rhodes Scholar in Seton Hall University history, was selected as one of 11 Canadian students to receive the life changing opportunity in 2008 and she suited up for the SHU women's basketball team from 2004-07.
Established in 1903 under the will of Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Scholarship is annually bestowed on a class of 83 international scholars. Rhodes' aspiration for the prestigious scholarship was to develop outstanding leaders who were selected based on exceptional intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service.