By Mark Jaffee, Republican-American
When opportunity knocked, Prospect’s Morina Bojka grasped ahold and didn’t let go.
After two seasons of limited minutes, Bojka took control and the Mount Saint Mary College women’s basketball team reaped the benefits last season during her junior year.
Bojka, a 5-foot-10 swingman, recorded a team-leading 475 points, averaging 18.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, in only 27 minutes per game in 2019-20.
Bojka helped the Knights to a 20-6 overall record and an 18-2 mark in the Skyline Conference.
Mount Saint Mary College coach Colleen Ames was thrilled with Bojka’s production.
“Mount Saint Mary College women’s basketball has had a lengthy history of success in the Skyline Conference,” Ames said.
“As a first-year head coach, taking on that legacy was a daunting one. Before I arrived at MSMC, Morina didn’t have a large ‘game day’ role on the team. Her contributions were behind the scenes. The team’s leading scorer along with the main leaders of the program were graduating, and as Morina was entering her junior year with a brand new coach, she had a lot to prove.”
Her previous two seasons in Newburgh, N.Y., Bojka scored a mere 5.5 ppg. with 4.0 rpg. (only two starts) and 3.7 ppg., 2.2 rpg. (one start), respectively, as a freshman and sophomore.
Bojka, who split her high school career between Chase Collegiate and Woodland High, certainly proved her capabilities, earning All-Skyline Conference first-team honors last season.
“Morina was confident, strong and poised as she became someone the team depended on tremendously,” Ames said. “She has the ability to fire up her teammates in a way that no one else can, she can take over a game in a matter of minutes, which she did on many occasions, and was an extremely reliable scorer.”
Bojka credited her coaches for the rapid improvement in her game.
“My coaches really pushed me and made me want to be better and saw the potential in me,” Bojka said. “They said if I want to be a better player, I could, and obviously, it translated into that. Basketball at the college level was more aggressive and more fast-paced. Once I got into more of a rhythm, it was easier to grow as a player and I became more serious.”
Because the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020-21 season, Bojka will be set to return to the court next season due to NCAA regulations.
Bojka, 21, is set to graduate in May with nursing degree and will enroll in a Master’s in Business Administration program for the fall.
“I’m beyond excited to have Morina back with us next season and I’m sure she can be someone who surpasses everyone’s expectations of her,” Ames said.
Woodland coach Jessica Moffo is thrilled for her former star.
“Morina’s low-post skills, footwork and basketball IQ is phenomenal,” Moffo said. “Her ability to get to the hole makes her special. She’s super athletic and can move in a blink of an eye.”
Bojka said she would like to expand her role as a nurse with management skills, and an MBA will provide that knowledge and experience. In recent months, Bojka has gained practical experience working in the pharmacy department at CVS in Naugatuck.
“I have a lot of compassion for a clinical setting and love being able to help people help themselves,” Bojka said.
As for returning to the basketball court, Bojka couldn’t be happier for next season.
“Oh my God it has been horribly cold outside,” Bojka said. “But I still go and shoot outside, even despite the cold. It has felt good to have a basketball in my hands again.”