Maddox will be eligible in Jan. 2006

Updated: January 20, 2005, 4:36 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE -- Former New Mexico point guard Fatima Maddox is getting a new start at Temple.

Maddox, who quit the Lobos last month, has enrolled at Temple and worked out with the Owls on Wednesday. As a transfer to another Division I school, Maddox will be eligible to play in January 2006.

"She was looking for an opportunity to start over and that's what we offer at Temple," Owls coach Dawn Staley said.

Maddox, who averaged 5.5 points a game at New Mexico, complained about the treatment she received from Lobos coach Don Flanagan. She quit the team in late December after Flanagan benched her. Flanagan would not say what she did to lose her spot in the starting lineup.

Maddox, who often beat defenders with her quickness, was also inconsistent during her time at New Mexico. A week before she left the team, Maddox had eight turnovers in the Lobos' 61-45 win over then-nationally ranked Arizona State.

According to Harold Bailey, the director of the state Office of African American Studies, Maddox, who is black, voiced "concerns about being treated differently than the non-black student athletes" on Flanagan's team.

Staley, who is black, was an All-Star in the Women's National Basketball Association and a 2004 Olympian. She's impressed with what Maddox can bring to the Owls' program.

"We had not heard of her and were not able to talk with her until New Mexico faxed us her release," Staley said. "Once that happened, we did a thorough investigation into her background. We looked at her academics, basketball skills and attitude. And she seems to be terrific in all those categories."

Staley also said Maddox will have a chance to get plenty of playing time once she is eligible next year.

"Most players who transfer here don't have a problem because they know it's their last chance," Staley said. "I think Fatima is going to be just fine here. She made a huge decision to transfer and I think she's grown a lot from it."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press