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Chinwe Duru: Moving with the waves

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Chinwe Duru: Moving with the waves

Chinwe Duru drives to the hoop in the Green Wave's 96-38 loss to the UConn Huskies on  February 3. The 6'2 senior has averaged 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season.

Chinwe Duru drives to the hoop in the Green Wave's 96-38 loss to the UConn Huskies on  February 3. The 6'2 senior has averaged 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season.

Chinwe Duru drives to the hoop in the Green Wave's 96-38 loss to the UConn Huskies on  February 3. The 6'2 senior has averaged 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season.

Chinwe Duru drives to the hoop in the Green Wave's 96-38 loss to the UConn Huskies on  February 3. The 6'2 senior has averaged 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season.

Susan Fanelli, Staff Reporter

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Consistent presences are a staple for just about any sports organization.

Enter Chinwe Duru, senior center for the Tulane women’s basketball team and a constant force for the last four years. As she finishes her final season as a member of the Green Wave, Duru feels that this season has been one of the finest yet.

“I feel that our season’s going really well right now,” Duru said. “We’re just going to go out and we’re going to do the best we can and play with all our hearts.”

Duru was born one of three children in Round Rock, Texas to Ikewueze and Loreta Duru in 1993. In her high school years, Duru was a three-year letter winner at Visa Ridge High School, where she led the Rangers to a combined 66 wins and back-to-back trips to the regional finals in her last two years. Duru averaged 15 points as a senior and was given first-team all-district recognition as well as earning the team’s Offensive MVP honors.

At Tulane, Duru saw plenty of court time. She played 32 games and earned one start as a true freshman, and was ranked first in free throw percentage at a steady .787. She also was second in blocks (18) and fourth in field goal percentage (.427) that season.

At the end of the 2012-13 season, she was named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Tulane’s 3.0 Club, attesting to her capabilities both on and off the court.

Duru would only continue to improve as she continued her career at Tulane. This season, Duru ranks among the top three in field goal percentage and rebounds. Overall, Duru has some of the highest stats on the team, ranking second and third in offensive and defensive rebounds respectively.

An outgoing and vocal presence, Duru is a key leader for the Wave long with fellow senior Tierra Jones.

For Duru and Jones, playing for all four years on the woman’s basketball team has given them new experiences and new challenges. Duru commented on the feel of each team, stating how they were all a fresh experience for her.

“For me and Tierra, we grew a lot being freshman, because the team changes every year, you have your seniors that graduate and you have the new people that come in,” Duru said. “But from a standpoint from me and [Tierra], we learned so much about ourselves and we’ve learned so much about the coaching staff. You just learn that no team is ever the same and you just have to move with the waves and you have to keep going. You can’t stay stagnant or you’re never going to get better.”

Tulane, currently fourth in the American Athletic Conference, has just six more games remaining in the regular season, including one more match up against the No. 1 UConn Huskies. UConn leads the AAC and the nation with a flawless 23-0 record, including an unrelenting 96-38 defeat over Tulane in New Orleans earlier this season.

Duru, however, says that the team is not intimidated by the Huskie’s talent.

“We can’t stress out over it,” Duru said. “[Assistant] Coach Frey was talking about how the thing that scares people the most when they play UConn is the fact that they have UConn on their shirts. it’s one of those games where you can learn a lot, because you’re playing the number one team in the nation.”

Duru graduates from Tulane with a degree in neuroscience this year. Between school, basketball and life, Duru appreciates the opportunities that she’s experienced as a member of the Green Wave.

“There’s so many different things that I enjoyed about being on this team for four years that it’s hard to just sum it down to a few.” Duru said. “Overall, it’s just been an amazing experience, and I am really so grateful and appreciative of the opportunity that I was given.”

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Chinwe Duru: Moving with the waves