Posted: 2:17 pm Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
By Matt Porter
President Barack Obama will honor the WNBA Champion Indiana Fever at the White House on Friday afternoon, a big milestone in the long and winding career of Benjamin alum Erlana Larkins.
In the 2012 playoffs, Larkins, 27, averaged 9.9 points, was first in offensive rebounds per game (4.9), second in total rebounds (10.9) and was third in shooting percentage (.542) for the Fever, who beat the 2011 champion Minnesota Lynx 3-1 in a best-of-five series. Larkins had 16 points and 15 rebounds — one shy of the Finals record — in a Game 1 win. She had three double-doubles in 10 playoff games, ranking second in the WNBA.
Larkins has been a winner for most of her career. From 1998-2004, the Benjamin girls basketball team made seven straight trips to the 2A final four and won four state championships, including back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004.
It was in large part because of Larkins, a Riviera Beach native who joined the team as a 6-foot seventh-grader in the fall of 1998. She graduated in 2004 as a two-time Florida Miss Basketball and McDonald’s All-American.
At North Carolina, she became an All-America selection and boosted the Tar Heels to two Final Fours and a four-year record of 130-13. She was a first-round pick (14th overall) of the WNBA’s New York Liberty in 2008, but was cut before the 2010 season. She played two years in Turkey, then made the Fever out of last year’s training camp.
And now, she’ll be up on stage with the President.