By Kyle Bennett
The Cumberland County College Women's Basketball Team will have a new leader at the helm this season, as Ashley Durham will become the next head coach for the Dukes.
"I was really excited and I'm anxious to get started," said Durham on being named the head coach, "…and I'm happy to be able to give back to my community".
Durham served as an assistant coach for the 2015-16 season under former head coach James Boney.
Durham, a Millville, New Jersey native played four seasons at Sacred Heart High School (Vineland, NJ). During her time at Sacred Heart, she scored 2,201 points in her high school career, leaving as the school's all-time leading scorer. She averaged 26 points per game as a junior when she was named all-State Third Team. Durham made the second team all-south jersey her junior year and was elected to the first team all-south jersey during her senior season.
Not only was she successful at the high school level, but Durham excelled in her career at the NCAA Division I level at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where she was the 20th member of the school's 1,000 point club, as well as holding the best career free throw percentage (83.7) by any basketball player, men's or women's, in school history, as well as being fourth all time in career free throws with 319.
Durham was also named to the First-Team all-MAAC her senior year, and the first to be named with that honor for the school since 2009.
Durham is looking forward to building a foundation for the Lady Dukes Basketball program and working with the local athletes, "getting to work with young women and give them the opportunity to develop as individuals and as players is going to be exciting and will help us build a winning environment," said Durham.
CCC Athletic Director Keith Gorman was thrilled about the news that Durham was named the next head coach of the Lady Dukes Basketball team.
"(Coach) Ashley Durham will be a tremendous addition to the Dukes athletics family. We believe she will carry on and improve the winning tradition on the court and in the classroom that Coach Boney and his staff created these past 6 years," said Gorman, "as a player she was one of the best women's basketball players in state history. Her contacts in the Northeast and her reputation will be key in recruiting quality scholar athletes for the women's basketball program. I am excited for her and the future of this program".
In addition to becoming the next head coach for the Lady Dukes basketball team, Durham is a Family Service Specialist Trainee for the State of New Jersey's Department of Children and Families Division of Child Protection and Permanency.