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Celebrating the Achievements of the MSU Women's Basketball Team with VIPP

Published: Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017
Author: VIPP
Department: Visiting International Professional Program

Earlier this week VIPP students in Joe Cousins' American Culture class visited the Berkowitz Basketball Complex to meet with the MSU Women's Basketball team. Participants met Coach Suzy Merchant and senior Tori Jankoska and had the chance to tour the facility including its offices, locker rooms, and practice gym.

VIPP participants in Joe Cousins's American Culture class pose for a picture with head coach Suzy Merchant and basketball star Tori Jankoska.

This year, Suzy Merchant finished her 10th season as head coach of the MSU women's basketball team. She has proven to be one of the best coaches in school history and a force in the Big Ten Conference. Thanks to her, the Spartans have finished third or better in the Big Ten in nine of the last ten seasons, and her conference record of 102-52 is in the top-12 career winning percentage in the 33-year history of the Big Ten and is the third-highest percentage among active coaches.

(From left to right) Coach Merchant, Tori Jankoska, and Joe Cousins pose for a picture with the beautiful calligraphy done by VIPP's own, Qing Xia.

Tori Jankoska, a senior here at MSU, was recently taken ninth in the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) draft. Jankoska finished her collegiate career as one of the best players in Michigan State women's basketball history. She set MSU records for points in a career (2,212). She also finished first in career 3-pointers (320) and field goals (478). Jankoska also finished second in assists (489) and 10th in rebounds (765).  She is expected to play with the Chicago Sky in the 2018 season.

VIPP prepared a special present-Calligraphy (Done by VIPP staff member Qing Xia)- to say thanks for inviting us to their facility. Coach Merchant received calligraphy with her name written in Chinese. To honor Ms. Jankoska's achievements, VIPP gifted her a framed jersey with her number and calligraphy that in Chinese means phoenix, the powerful and imaginary bird in Chinese legend.  Her name Tori phonetically means "bird" in Japanese and our staff member Qing wrote it in Chinese. She indeed deserves such a title given her excellent performance. In return, the women's basketball team gave every participant in Joe Cousins' class a MSU Women's Basketball T-shirt.

VIPP presented Ms. Jankoska with a framed jersey and calligraphy to honor her achievements.

VIPP would like to thank the MSU women's basketball team, Coach Suzy Merchant, and Ms. Jankoska for taking the time to meet with us. We would like to congratulate them on their success this season and look forward to next season. Everyone at VIPP would also wish Ms. Jankoska the best as she makes her transition from collegiate athlete to professional athlete. Go Green!

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