An audience of over 680 fans gave seniors Jordan Maxwell, Maddie Edler, Diane Hurst and Lauren Fulenwider a standing ovation in their final season with the women’s basketball team.
Maxwell and Edler have both played for the Comets for the last four years. Coach Joe Shotland said that he hopes these leaders leave UTD knowing that they set a foundation for great things to come in the future.
“One thing that we really wanted to emphasize with this group, and I think the seniors brought in, was this is going to be a group effort and every day is going to be a group effort,” Shotland said. “They led the charge [in] that way.”
Maxwell, guard number two, is one of the most familiar faces on the women’s basketball team. Maxwell has played 1,862 minutes on the court, scoring a total of 144 field goals, 52 3-pointers and 149 free throws. She has also recorded a total of 225 rebounds, 182 assists and 116 steals. Out of the 25 games she has played this season, Maxwell has been named game leader for at least one category in 22 games. Before the ASC, Maxwell finished the regular season as the player with the highest scores in free throws, assists, steals, turnovers and minutes played. She was also awarded Academic All-Conference Honors her sophomore and junior year as well as named player of the week on Jan. 17, 2022.
“I’m just really grateful for everything,” Maxwell said. “I think on the court, I’ve grown so much as a player, and I’ve been able to disprove a lot wrong with just people’s perspectives about the type of player I am … I just really wanna shout out my team. Throughout the years I think that they’ve always been my built-in best friends … we spend so much of our time together that it is hard to think that I’m not gonna be with these people every single hour the day after I graduate.”
As a marketing major, Maxwell said she is considering sports analytics or working with talent agencies after graduation. She said she wants to let opportunities present themselves as she tries interning in different areas, hoping to go with the flow and enjoy the time she has.
“I think there’s just a lot that [I want] to do,” Maxwell said, “and I’ve always been really open to plenty opportunities … I don’t really know what the future holds, but I’m also pretty [optimistic] that I’m gonna find a way to still make my name relevant.”
Edler, guard number three, was recently nominated for the Academic All-District Basketball Team thanks to her performance on the court and in her studies, attaining GPA of 3.859 in marketing.
“I wanted academics to be my main focus. That’s kinda like the top tier on my priority list always,” Edler said. “And I do really enjoy school, that’s why I have performed better in my classes. Then like basketball is huge for me, I’ve played basketball for 16 years and it’s been such a huge part of my identity.”
In her time at UTD, Edler has played for 1,125 minutes and made 99 field goals, 74 3-pointers and 24 free throws. During this time, she also recorded 107 rebounds, 55 assists and 48 steals. Edler was awarded Academic All-District Team pick three times in a row for the last three years and was named to ASC East All-Freshman Team in 2020.
Edler will be interning at Adobe’s corporate headquarters in San Jose this summer and will return to UTD as a student to complete a master’s degree.
“I have loved it here, I mean, I love UTD as a school, 100 percent,” Edler said. “I’ve loved everyone every step of the way. We have a really good team dynamic. And we’re all really close. That’s been really fun.”
After playing two seasons at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, number 21 forward Hurst came to UTD in 2021 as a junior transfer. Hurst initially came from Lampasas High School in Lampasas, Texas as district MVP and will be graduating UTD with a degree in business administration. Hurst has played 644 minutes for the Comets, recording a staggering 110 field goals, 12 3-pointers and 26 free throws. She has also secured 121 rebounds, 29 assists, 18 blocks and 18 steals during her UTD career. This season, Hurst scored the highest number of points, made the highest number of field goals and was the second best for successful blocked shots.
“I [play] for God’s glory, but I also do it for my teammates and my coaches,” Hurst said. “It’s bigger than me.”
Hurst said she hopes to work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes full time to help other athletes learn how to promote better mental health, how to fight the pressure they put on themselves and how to play for both the love of the sport and to honor God.
“[It] would be amazing [to] maybe go overseas and just really help athletes understand [that] there’s a lot of mental health that goes into being an athlete,” Hurst said, “I’ve been in that position before and that’s just not a good place to be in to play at your full potential. To just play with that freedom is something that I want to have all athletes feel.”
Fulenwider, who played as number 32 guard for the last season, joined the Comets after three seasons at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and a year at Texas State University in San Marcos. Despite only playing a single season, Fulenwider has played for 488 minutes as the fourth most active player this season, scoring 50 field goals, 46 3-pointers and nine free throws. She has also made 30 rebounds, 33 assists and 17 turnovers. This season, Fulenwider has scored the most 3-pointers successfully and has the highest ratio of assists to turnovers.
“It has been fantastic. This has been one of my favorite teams to be a part of,” Fulenwider said. Everyone is so caring and kind and they’re competitive. They just want to win, and it’s been so nice being a part of a team that has won.”
Fulenwider said she isn’t sure what is next for her, but she will still be at UTD as a graduate student next year.