April 7, 2024 

Unique Drake earns MVP honors at Women’s College All-Star Game

Lieberman: 'She's going to be amazing at the next level'

CLEVELAND — On Saturday afternoon, for the first time in 25 years, a Women’s College All-Star game was hosted. This year’s game, which featured 20 players either exhausting or foregoing their remaining collegiate eligibility, was hosted at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University in Downtown Cleveland. The game pitted Team Lieberman (coached by Nancy Lieberman) and Team Miller (coached by Cheryl Miller) against one another, with bragging rights on the line. When all was said and done, one star shined the brightest — St. John’s redshirt senior Unique Drake.

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Drake was named the MVP of the game after contributing a game-high 27 points (12-for-21). The 2023 BIG EAST Sixth Woman of the Year also contributed three assists, three steals and two assists en route to a 95-88 Team Lieberman victory.

“What Unique brought to the team was a championship — she was the MVP,” Nancy Lieberman told The Next. “She’s quiet but powerful. I’ve watched her and to be able to coach her is a blessing. She’s fantastic. She’s going to be amazing at the next level.”

BIG EAST represention

In addition to Drake, two other BIG EAST players were represented in Saturday’s All-Star game — graduate students Azana Baines (Seton Hall) and Anaya Peoples (DePaul).

Azana Baines

Collegiate career — Duke (2019-20), Virginia Tech (2020-22), Seton Hall (2022-24)

Baines joined Seton Hall as a senior last season, following two stops at ACC schools — Duke and Virginia Tech. She emerged as a leader for the Pirates this season, providing veteran leadership to a team that contained nine new players. During her five years as a scholar-athlete, Baines gained valuable experience that translated into eager leadership. As a fifth-year senior Baines averaged 14.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Baines completed the regular season as one of only three players in the BIG EAST to rank among the top 12 in points, rebounds, steals and blocks.

Azana Baines gets a shot up over Aaliyah Edwards
Seton Hall Pirates forward Azana Baines (15) gets a shot over UConn Huskies forward Aaliyah Edwards (3). (Photo Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Anaya Peoples

Collegiate career — Notre Dame (2019-22), DePaul (2022-24)

Following a three year stint in South Bend — including an ACC All-Freshman season with the Irish — Peoples crossed Lake Michigan to Chicago and enrolled at DePaul. An All-BIG EAST Second Team selection, Peoples led the Blue Demons in scoring and rebounding this season.

Anaya Peoples takes a shot over Gabbie Marshall with Iowa fans watching in the background
DePaul guard Anaya Peoples (22) attempts a shot against Iowa guard Gabbie Marshall (24) during Crossover at Kinnick at Kinnick Stadium on Sunday, October 15, 2023 in Iowa City. (Photo Credit: Lily Smith | The Regis)

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Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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