Kim Blakney is a perfect fit for the undefeated women's basketball team at Farmingdale State. But it took some doing for Blakney to wind up as the centerpiece of the Rams, who defeated upstate Sage, 99-55, Saturday.
Farmingdale (17-0, 11-0 Skyline Conference) received 30 points from Blakney as the 5-11 senior guard raised her Division III-leading average to 27 points per game. Farmingdale could be in the national rankings when the new poll is announced this week.
Blakney's association with Farmingdale coach Chris Mooney started when the Brooklyn-born Blakney was 10. Mooney was coaching in a youth league and had Blakney and Epiphanny Prince (the former Rutgers star) on his team. "Epiphanny would score 40, Kimberly was second with 20, my next scorer would have two points," he said. "Kim was one of the best for her age in the city.''
The two stayed in touch. Mooney became the Division III coach at Farmingdale; Blakney envisioned a Division I career. She was offered a full scholarship to Morgan State but could not academically qualify out of Benjamin Banneker High School. "The SAT scores didn't go my way,'' she said. "I'm not going to lie, I was very disappointed in myself.''
Plan B was to attend a junior college in Texas, but she was unhappy there. Mooney came to the rescue. "He called to check on me, see how I was doing,'' she said. "I said, 'I'm not really liking it down here.' He said, 'There's always a spot on my team.' "
It has turned out to be win-win to the nth degree, especially this season, as Farmingdale has the best start in program history. Against Sage (7-9, 5-6), Blakney also had nine rebounds and eight steals, narrowly missing a second straight triple-double. She is the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,862 points.
She actually considered her effort Saturday to be subpar, saying, "I was hurt, my knees hurt, I have a foot injury."
She finished 9-for-22 from the field and 9-for-11 from the foul line. "I can get in the paint, I can shoot when I want to,'' she said. "My arms are so long, so if I just throw the ball up, it goes in.''
Farmingdale has made six straight trips to the conference final, three with Blakney. Mount St. Mary has always been victorious in the championship game. "My goal is to win the Skyline going undefeated and go to the NCAA Tournament,'' Blakney said. "Our other teams were good, but this is the best team.''