Star guard cites 'personal reasons'

Updated: September 10, 2004, 7:56 PM ET
Associated Press

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Two-time All-Big East senior guard Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers is going to miss the first half of women's basketball season.

Pondexter did not give a reason for sitting out in a statement she issued through the university late Friday afternoon.

"I can assure you that it is not a life-threatening condition or a substance abuse issue," Pondexter said. "This is a personal matter, and I would appreciate it if people will accept and respect that. I look forward to rejoining my teammates for the second half of the season."

Pondexter refused to allow university officials, including coach Vivian Stringer, to speak about her decision.

The Chicago native was recently selected as one of the 31 preseason candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy, given annually to the nation's best female college basketball player.

Pondexter averaged 17.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals in leading the Scarlet Knights to a 21-12 record and an NCAA tournament berth last season. She averaged 23.3 points in helping Rutgers reach the final of the Big East tournament, where it lost to national champion Connecticut.

Pondexter earned third team All-America honors from The Associated Press.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press