McEntee, a Flushing native, fell ill her freshman season with mononucleosis, a debilitating affliction that causes constant fatigue. But the former Archbishop Molloy HS standout did not miss a single game."Physically," Quinn said, "there isn't much she can't take."That was confirmed the following season. McEntee broke her nose in the final minutes of a blowout loss against the University of Rochester, but still wanted to play four days later against then-No. 10 Brandeis. The Violets' coaching staff let her, too - as long as she wore a protective guard for her face."You couldn't drive a car with this mask," Quinn said. "She can't see laterally, she can't see up."McEntee responded with 21 points and 15 rebounds. NYU won, 58-53.The victory was just a small part of a special year in downtown Manhattan. The Violets would end up making a run to the Division III Final Four for the first time since 1996 and McEntee played a huge role. The 5-foot-11 forward became the first NYU women's player to average a double-double (16.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game) since 1993. She was named the University Athletic Association player of the year and a Division III All-American, as well. McEntee's rebound total was third best in the nation.Now a junior, she is averaging 20.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for NYU, which is ranked No. 4 in the country.All the success has certainly made McEntee wonder what would have happened if she decided to play for a Division I program. She counted the University of Pennsylvania, Siena, Sacred Heart and Holy Cross among her suitors coming out of Molloy and Kevin White's NYC Heat AAU program."I do occasionally," she said of thinking about playing at a D-I school. "And then I think that nothing could have been better than this."McEntee touts the superior education and the proximity to her Flushing home. But winning doesn't hurt, either. NYU is one of the most storied programs in Division III women's hoops. Quinn has had 15 20-win seasons, three Final Four berths and a national championship in 21 years as the head coach of the Violets."I know this team can beat up a lot of Division I teams," McEntee said.McEntee hasn't been as beaten up this year as she was her first two. There's been no mono and no broken noses, thus far. As a co-captain she's had to take on more of a leadership role to go along with her unprecedented production. The transition, as you might expect, has been seamless."Jess has the ego of a bug," Quinn said. "She's completely, truly, truly unselfish...Her parents (John and Linda McEntee) created her. She arrived here at 18 years old fully evolved. Her parents did just the most remarkable job raising this human being."Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@
©2008 Community News Group
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