She found her way to Maine and has made it a home away from home since. After being highly recruited out of Ss. Neumann and Goretti, Tanesha Sutton has become the cornerstone of the Maine Black Bears Women’s Basketball team. Sutton hails from the “City of Brotherly Love,” aka Philadelphia. She was a three-year captain in high school and helped earn her High School back to back PIAA District 12 titles. In the New Jersey vs Philadelphia All-Star Game she dropped 22 points, collected 10 rebounds and added five assists to earn the MVP of the game.
All these accolades garnered plenty of attention from various programs, one of them being the University of Maine. Unfortunately for Maine, the highly recruited Sutton chose Duquesne, but after 25 games with the Dukes it wasn’t the right fit and Maine was still waiting, willing to welcome her with open arms.
“We recruited her hard out of high school and we thought we had her; she ended up going to Duquesne and that didn’t work out how she wanted. We were really really thankful she wanted to come back,” Interim Head Coach Amy Vashon said.
Due to NCAA transfer rules Sutton was forced to sit out for a season, but even during her time not playing Vashon saw her work ethic and it has not stopped this season.
“Tanesha [Sutton] is our rock, she’s our hardest worker. You know what she’s going to bring every game. Since she came back even her first year when she wasn’t playing, just practiced so hard and it was our big senior class at that time they kept saying ‘why didn’t you just come!?’ because they wanted to play with her so we’re very fortunate to have her on our team,” Vashon added.
Once Sutton finally got her opportunity she never looked back, leading Maine in the 2016-2017 season in rebounding (4.8) and assists (2.6) and also scoring her career high 18 points against Binghamton on Feb. 26, 2017. She also recorded her first double-double against Vermont, scoring 10 and pulling down 13 boards.
Off the court she’s had to go through changes. Moving from the city to a rural area may scare some players off, but for Sutton it has been embraced.
“It was different,” Sutton said while laughing.
“Big change up, you know? When you have the city everything is active all through the night like here everything closes around 6 p.m. Even weather wise and things to do, but it was a good switch up. I’m so used to the city and to be able to experience something different, different culture, different area, scenery is better it’s good,” Sutton said.
In her free time she has found a hobby in cooking, where she likes to freestyle it. Whether it be salmon or steak she’s always willing to try new spices. Often times, she likes to practice her cooking while jamming out to her favorite artist Meek Mill. Unfortunately for Tanesha, she hasn’t been able to enjoy her favorite restaurant T.G.I. Fridays since there aren’t any around Orono. Despite not finding her favorite dining spot, Tanesha is smiling after Maine’s 3-1 start to the season.
“Very excited, 3-1 that’s a good start for us especially giving us momentum heading into Miami and they teams we’ve played Tulane, Harvard and Bryant was great competition and great experience for us to play them,” Tanesha said.
Sutton will look to help her Black Bear teammates avenge the loss last season at Miami and with the leading defense in America East Maine doesn’t look to change things up.
“I think we’re going to stick to the script, keep our ferocious defense. We played Miami last year so we got a little taste of what they like to do, the way they run their offense and what the defense looks like. We’re looking forward to playing them,” Sutton said
Sutton found her way to Maine and has made it home and embraced everything the university and area has to offer. Ask anyone, her kind ways off the court and work ethic on the court have earned her a great reputation with individuals on campus, her teammates. Sutton is everything that Vashon could’ve asked for and more.
You can see her back in action Nov. 24 when Maine looks to avenge their loss to the Hurricanes.