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Morehouse Named ASUN Player of the Year; Carter Earns First-Team Honors; Winston Named to Third-Team



FORT MYERS, Fla. – The No. 24 FGCU women’s basketball team earned more awards from the ASUN Conference on Friday, as was fifth-year guard Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wis./Rufus King HS/Nebraska CC) earned the ASUN Women’s Basketball Player of the Year honor and earned a spot on the ASUN Women’s Basketball First-Team list for the third consecutive season.

Graduate guard Sha Carter (Southfield. Mich./Wylie E. Groves HS/Walsh) who was named the ASUN Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier Friday, was also named to the ASUN Women’s Basketball First-Team All-Conference list. Junior guard Alyza Winston (Muskegon, Mich./Muskegon HS/Mississippi State) was named to the ASUN Conference Women’s Basketball Third-Team list.

“TK has been an amazing playing for all three seasons,” said FGCU head women’s basketball coach Karl Smesko. “She has made the first team all three seasons, and it’s exciting to see her win Player of the Year. She is an exceptional point guard who can distribute the ball to her teammates, and also someone who can score and always willing to put in the effort defensively. She is an amazing player and has had a special season.”

Morehouse is FGCU’s ninth ASUN Player of the Year honoree, joining Kierstan Bell (2022, 2021), Keri Jewett-Giles (2020), Nasrin Ulel (2019), Sarah Hansen (2013, 2014) and Whitney Knight (2016, 2015) on that prestigious list.

The Green & Blue now boast 25 ASUN Conference Women’s Basketball First-Team honorees: Morehouse (2023, 2022, 2021), Carter (2023), Bell (2022, 2021), Jewett-Giles (2020), Tytionia Adderly (2020), Ulel (2019), Rosemarie Julien (2018, 2017), China Dow (2018), Kaneisha Atwater (2016, 2015), Knight (2016, 2015, 2014), Hansen (2014, 2013, 2012), Brittany Kennedy (2013), Shannon Murphy (2011), Chelsea Lyles (2010, 2009), and Adrianne McNally (2009)

TK Morehose – All-ASUN First Team and ASUN Women’s Basketball Player of the Year

Morehouse has played and started in all 31 of the Eagles games this season, recording 963 minutes of playing time – the most for any Eagle this season. She has scored 520 points and averages 16.9 points per game, ranking her second in the league, and boasts a 52.8 shooting percentage.

Morehouse is the top 3-point shooter for the Eagles in 2022-23, registering 69 treys this season, and is shooting 49.5 percent from beyond the arc – which is also second in the ASUN. She also leads the Eagles with 138 assists and is fifth in the league with 4.5 assists per game.

Morehouse eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier during the Eagles first game of the 2022-23 season, scoring a game-high 24 points against Old Dominion on Nov. 7. She has led the Eagles in scoring a whopping 16 times, and hit double figures 28 times – with eight of those efforts being 20 points or higher.

The 5-foot-3 guard registered a season-best 28 points against Mercer on Dec. 21. One of her best games for the season came on Feb. 8, where she delivered 17 points and dealt 10 assists. Her performance was only the 15th time an Eagle recorded 10 or more assists in school history.

The Wisconsin native has won the ASUN Player of the Week award twice this season, the first on Nov. 21 after she averaged 16 points per game against Hawaii and San Diego. Morehouse once again won the honor Jan. 2 after averaging 17.5 points per game in FGCU’s victories against Mercer and Brown.

Coming into the season, Morehouse was tabbed ASUN Preseason Player of the Year and was recognized as a member of the John R. Wooden Award Top 50 Watch List and the 2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year.

SHA CARTER – All-ASUN First Team

Carter has also been a dominant force in the league for the Eagles, playing in all 32 games with 28 starts. She is the second leading scorer for the Green & Blue, averaging 16.7 points in conference play – a total that ranks her third in the league. Carter has a 62.4 shooting percentage, which is fourth in the ASUN, and she the top rebounder on the team with 5.9 rebounds per outing. Carter has led the Eagles in scoring nine times, has scored in doubles figures 22 times and registered over 20 points seven times.

Carter eclipsed the 2,500-point barrier on Feb. 23 against Kennesaw State, and currently has 2,555 points. On Feb. 8, Carter broke the 1,000-rebounds barrie and now sits at 1,074 rebounds. Carter was named ASUN Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 20 after averaging 25.5 points per game. She scored a season-best 30 points, one shy of her career best, and pulled down eight rebounds against Lipscomb on Feb. 16. Two days later, she registered her second double-double of the season – scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds against Austin Peay on Feb. 18.

The 6-foot guard first won the ASUN NOW award on Dec. 12, as she was instrumental in the Eagles’ victory against SEC powerhouse Kentucky – scoring a game-high 16 points and dealing a team-best six assists. Carter shot 50 percent from the field (6-12) with three treys. She hit a jumper at the 5:51 mark of the fourth quarter and converted the three-point play to break a tie and put FGCU in the lead for the remainder of the game.

“Sha has been incredibly productive and just one of the most efficient players in all of college basketball,” Smesko said. “She came in and embraced her role on our team, and has just been outstanding throughout the year – but she has gotten better with each game and just continues to improve.”


Winston has started for the Eagles in 26 games and have played in 31 – logging a total of 834 minutes of playing time this season. She is the third-leading scorer for the Eagles, averaging 13.1 points per game, and her a 43.2 percent 3-point percentage ranks her fourth in conference.

The 5-foot-8 Winston shoots a team-high 84.7 percent from the free-throw line, has scored 10-plus points 26 times and has been the Eagles top scorer six times in 2022-23. One of her best games was at the No. 3 seed Lipscomb on March 1, when she delivered a game-high 21 points that included five triples and 8-for-11 shooting from the floor. She also pulled down four rebounds, chipped in two assists and grabbed three steals in the performance.

Winston has won Newcomer of the Week a whopping four times this season, earning her latest honor Jan. 30 by averaging 16.5 points per game in FGCU’s victories against Eastern Kentucky and Bellarmine.

Winston earned her third ASUN NOW award Jan. 2 after averaging 13.5 points in the Eagles’ wins against Brown and Mercer. Her second ASUN NOW award came Dec. 26 after scoring a season-best 23 points in FGCU’s 91-81 road win against Mercer. In addition to her offensive contribution, she notched a season-high five rebounds and added a steal.

Winston won the first Newcomer of the Week award of the 2022-23 season on Nov. 14 after FGCU’s season opener against Old Dominion. She registered 22 points A few days later at C-USA member FIU, Winston would steal the show – registering a game-high 19 points to help the Eagles win 92-63.
“It great to see Alyza get recognition, she’s such a great player and have made such a great impact for us on both ends of the floor.” She is a great defender and she is an amazing shooter and it’s great to see her get recognized for outstanding play ” Smesko said.

Morehouse, Carter, Winston and the No. 24 Eagles will begin postseason play 5 p.m. Sunday in the ASUN Tournament quarterfinals, taking on the No. 9 Stetson-No. 10 Jacksonville winner – a game will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at Alico Arena.

For complete coverage of FGCU women’s basketball, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_WBB and online at You can also sign up to have news on FGCU women’s basketball and other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting

2022-23 ASUN Conference Women’s Basketball Postseason Honors and Awards

Player of the Year: Tishara Morehouse, FGCU
Defensive Player of the Year: Skyler Gill, North Alabama
Newcomer of the Year: Antwainette Walker, Eastern Kentucky
Unanimous Sixth Player of the Year: Shamarre Hale, Austin Peay
Freshman of the Year: Gracie Merkle, Bellarmine
Coach of the Year: Karl Smesko, FGCU

ASUN First-Team All-Conference
Tishara Morehouse*^, FGCU, Sr., Milwaukee, Wis.
Antwainette Walker, Eastern Kentucky, Sr. Lisle, Ill.
Sha Carter, FGCU, Gr., Southfield, Mich.
Mya Berkman#, Liberty Sr., Marble Falls, Texas
Bella Vinson, Lipscomb So., Manchester, Tenn.

ASUN, Second-Team All-Conference
Shamarre Hale, Austin Peay, Sr., Chicago, Ill.
Gracie Merkle, Bellarmine, Fr., Mt. Washington, Ky.
Kennedy Gavin, Jacksonville State, Sr. Petal, Miss.
Jah’Che Whitfield, Kennesaw State, Sr. Sumter, S.C.
Skyler Gill#, North Alabama, So. Wichita, Kan.

ASUN Third-Team All-Conference
Mariah Adams, Austin Peay, Sr. Little Rock, Ark.
Alyza Winston, FGCU, Jr. Muskegon, Mich.
Shynia Jackson, Jacksonville, Sr., Warner Robins, Ga.
Amani Johnson^, Kennesaw State, Sr., North Versailles, Pa.
Jalyn Holcomb, Lipscomb, Sr., Murfreesboro, Tenn.

ASUN All-Freshman Team
Gracie Merkle* Bellarmine Mt. Washington, Ky.
Anala Nelson Austin Peay Columbia, S.C.
Molly Heard Lipscomb Pisgah, Ala.
Jordyn Weaver Queens San Antonio, Texas
Jaelyn Talley Stetson Fairfax, Va.

* – Denotes unanimous selection
# – Denotes a two-time selection to the All-Conference Team
^ – Denotes a three-time selection to the All-Conference Team

FGCU head coach Karl Smesko maintains a record of 639-131 (.829) overall in his career, the third-highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only UConn’s Geno Auriemma and LSU’s Kim Mulkey. He has also led the Eagles to a 249-19 (.929) mark in ASUN regular-season play and a 30-2 (.938) record in ASUN tournament play. Over the previous 11-plus seasons, he has guided FGCU to a 185-7 (.963) record in conference play with six undefeated seasons. The 12-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program to 12-straight 25-win seasons and 18 consecutive 20-win campaigns, including 30-plus wins in five of the last eight years. On top of all that, the Eagles are 578-104 (.847) all-time since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Green & Blue’s .846 all-time winning percentage is the best in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry ( and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (, FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

South Florida News

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Senate Bill (SB) 102, the Live Local Act



NAPLES, Fla. Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 102, the Live Local Act, representing the largest investment for housing efforts in state history. The bill invests $711 million in multiple programs to expand the availability of housing, downpayment assistance, and focused support for military communities. The investment under this legislation is nearly double the investment made in 2022-2023, which was already the highest investment in 15 years. To learn more, click here.

“This legislation provides record support for Florida’s workforce and their families to help them live where they work, while also providing historic support for our military communities and the families living near military bases,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I applaud Senator Passidomo for leading on this legislation and look forward to the support it will provide to Florida families.”

“Providing safe, quality and affordable housing for families in Florida continues to be the mission of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Legislature, and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation,” said Mike DiNapoli, Executive Director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “As the state’s housing finance agency, we appreciate Senate President Passidomo’s continued dedication to this issue and are honored to be entrusted with the resources to serve Floridians with their housing needs.”

“When I moved here to Naples almost 43 years ago, the community was talking about the lack of housing for our workers,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. “It was a problem then and remains a persistent problem in many areas of our state – that changes today! The Governor and Speaker are amazing partners in this effort. Together, we are shutting down affordable housing stereotypes and creating attainable housing options needed by the majority of our workforce, the backbone of Florida’s economy. It is clear that the broad appeal of the free state of Florida has impacted our population and our housing needs. Countless families and business owners have fled high tax, lockdown states in search of a better life. As our state continues to grow, our Live Local Act will make sure Floridians can live close to good jobs, schools, hospitals, and other critical centers of our communities that fit comfortably in their household budgets, no matter the stage of life or income.”

“The affordable housing package signed by Governor DeSantis will enable hardworking Floridians to put down roots in the communities they serve,” said House Speaker Paul Renner. “This is groundbreaking legislation that will provide Florida’s families, seniors, and workers with a safe and affordable place to live. I commend Senate President Kathleen Passidomo for her passion and tireless work to ensure affordable housing is attainable for all Floridians.”

“Today is a new day for workforce housing in the free state of Florida,” said Senator Alexis Calatayud. “The biggest housing concern we hear from young people is that there is no place for them to raise their own families in communities they grew up in, where their extended families have lived for generations. That changes today. Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, President Passidomo, and Speaker Renner, our Live Local Act is going to help bridge the gap in a meaningful way with market-driven, short-and long-term solutions that improve options for both homeownership and affordable rental units in communities across our state.”

“As our state continues to grow, we must ensure hardworking Floridians can find affordable housing near good jobs, schools, hospitals, and other critical community centers,” said Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera. “I want to thank Governor DeSantis for signing this legislation and I proud to have worked alongside Senator Alexis Calatayud, President Passidomo, and Speaker Renner to address the housing affordability crisis in our state.”

This legislation invests a record $711 million for housing projects and assistance through the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation (FHFC) to create or build upon housing programs. This includes:

  • $259 million for the SAIL program to provide low interest loans to developers building workforce housing.
    • $150 million of these funds are recurring for certain specified uses such as redevelopment of underused property and projects near military installations.
  • $252 million for the SHIP program to provide local governments with incentives to build partnerships with developers who are preserving available housing or producing more housing.
  • $100 million for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time home buyers with a focus on law enforcement, first responders, teachers, active duty military, and military veterans.
  • $100 million for FHFC to implement a loan program to alleviate inflation-related cost increases for FHFC-approved housing projects.

Additionally, this bill builds upon efforts to help Floridians afford to purchase their first home by codifying the Hometown Heroes program and increasing the borrowing limit per loan to $35,000 or 5% of the purchase price of a home. This bill will also broaden FHFC’s ability to invest in affordable housing for those that are currently in the foster care system or who are aging out of the system and expands eligibility for the Job Growth Grant Fund to authorize public infrastructure projects that support expanding housing opportunities.

This legislation also creates a new tax donation program to allow corporate taxpayers to direct certain tax payments to the FHFC, up to $100 million annually, to help fund the SAIL program and increases the amount of tax credits available through the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program from $14.5 million to $25 million annually. Additionally, the bill provides a sales tax refund of up to $5,000 on building materials for housing units funded through FHFC.

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South Florida News

Trump vs. DeSantis: Florida pastors mull conservative issues



DORAL, Florida (AP) — Several of Florida’s conservative faith leaders have the ear of two early frontrunners for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination – former President Donald Trump, who lives in Palm Beach, and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The clergy’s top political priorities are thus likely to resonate in the national campaign for the religious vote, even as both men’s agendas are still being weighed from the pulpit.

The faith leaders’ key issues include education, especially about gender and sexuality, and immigration, a particularly relevant matter in Florida, which is a destination for hundreds of thousands of newcomers and home to politically powerful Latino diasporas.

Trump made reducing illegal immigration a strong focus of his previous campaigns, often with strident rhetoric, and has discussed building on his legacy in a second term. DeSantis, who isn’t yet a candidate but is widely expected to run, has taken a more careful approach with immigration developments in Florida, while spotlighting issues related to schools and family.

Several pastors, particularly in heavily Latino South Florida, argue for reforming immigration policy. They want a more orderly process at a time of historically high illegal border crossings, but also more help to regularize and integrate undocumented migrants who are contributing economically and socially in United States communities.

The faith leaders’ top priority, however, is defending their congregations, and youth in general, from what they see as efforts to impose — through public education – concepts of marriage, family and identity that run against their values.

Some LGBTQ advocates, teachers unions, and others argue that the issue of “parental rights” is being used to inject conservative politics into public schools.

But for pastors like Frank López of Jesus Worship Center in Doral, a Miami suburb, exposing children to certain types of sexually explicit materials in schools without their parents’ knowledge is a form of political indoctrination that “brings conflict to a family.”

“We don’t want any government ever to go above a father and mother,” said López, whose church has grown to more than 3,000 members from over 40 different nationalities since it was founded two decades ago with barely three dozen worshippers.

He cited as a counterweight a bill DeSantis signed last year to give parents a say in what books are available in school libraries, targeting the presence of sexually explicit volumes.

“I think that the government should not get involved in any religion, but yes I believe that religion should get involved in governing,” said López, whose church has hosted visits by Trump, DeSantis and other conservative politicians.

Tom Ascol, the senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral who offered a prayer at DeSantis’ inauguration earlier this year, said he wants political leaders fighting “woke mobs” to restore “common-sense sanity” on issues like sexually explicit materials in public spaces with children.

“What Governor DeSantis did here in Florida, I’m grateful for,” Ascol said.

For Rabbi Avrohom Brashevitzky, executive director of Chabad Jewish Center of Doral, the top concern is similarly “the breakdown in morals and ethics,” which he believes leads to societal ills including antisemitism, a growing worry nationwide.

He attributes that breakdown to failures in education to imbue youth with the values of tolerance, kindness and a belief in a higher existence.

“Life doesn’t begin and end with your cheeseburger, you and your pleasures,” Brashevitzky said, praising DeSantis and the Florida legislature for passing a “moment of silence” in schools before the day’s start, where children can pray or reflect.

“We as a society, Christian or not, have a responsibility to protect the young ones,” echoed Abraham Rivera, senior pastor at La Puerta Life Center, a Brethren in Christ church with about 200 members in Miami.

The focus on freedom for conservative faith-based moral values, particularly for youth, is proving a winning argument among religious voters nationwide, experts say.

“I certainly see a lot of energy around what conservatives would call ‘parental rights’ … I don’t see that ending,” said Marie Griffith, the director of religion and politics studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

In Florida, conservative family values might have turned younger Latino voters toward DeSantis, helping to account for his nearly 20 percentage point reelection victory last year — “unheard of” according to Susan MacManus, a professor emerita of political science at the University of South Florida.

The state is almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, she said. Trump won the prized battleground state by single digit percentage points in the last two presidential elections.

“The evangelical vote in Florida is too diverse to be a big force in politics,” she added, but many faithful across denominations like seeing DeSantis take charge of issues like sexually explicit materials available to children. “That resonates.”

The ability to stand up for more conservative values is also inextricably linked to the free exercise of religion for faith leaders like Rivera and his wife, Marilyn, who’s also a pastor and met with Trump when she led South Florida’s Association of Hispanic Ministers, which represents about 800 pastors from different Christian denominations.

“We never come at it from a hate perspective. As a pastor, I happen to believe what the Bible teaches about sexuality and marriage,” he said.

But he and other pastors fear holding on to those beliefs could put their churches at risk of being sued, for example when refusing to celebrate same-sex marriages, or that they might be forced to go against their conscience.

“The effort of some on the ‘progressive side’ to define religious freedom as freedom to worship but not necessarily the freedom to serve or the freedom to advocate” is also a top concern for Thomas Wenski, the Catholic Archbishop of Miami.

Wenski noted that “neither party will necessarily embrace the whole gamut of Catholic social thought,” which includes opposing abortion and capital punishment. Last year, Wenski’s strong advocacy for migrants and refugees put him publicly at odds with DeSantis, who’s Catholic.

Ultimately, faith leaders said that a candidate’s integrity and ability to address their concerns through policies outweighs a candidate’s likeability and other personal traits.

“The Christian church is not about looking for a perfect person or a charismatic person,” López said. “It wants a person who does what he says and a person who’s aligned with God’s values.”

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South Florida News

PortMiami bunkers Seaboard Marine’s first LNG cargo vessel



MIAMI-DADE – This weekend marked the first time in PortMiami’s history that a cargo vessel, the Motor Vessel (M/V) Seaboard Blue, was bunkered at PortMiami using liquified natural gas (LNG) as a fuel. Shell, using its Q4000 bunker barge, filled the Seaboard Blue with LNG prior to its inaugural southbound sailing to Honduras and Guatemala.

The 1,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) M/V Seaboard Blue, previously known as the M/V Elbblue, was retrofitted in 2017 with the capability of running on both LNG and diesel fuel. The vessel was the world’s first container ship converted from conventional diesel propulsion to LNG. This Sunday, for the first time, the Seaboard Blue called PortMiami home and joined the Seaboard Marine’s North Central America service.

“Seaboard Marine’s adoption of greener sources of fuel is exemplary and a significant step towards our goal of keeping Miami-Dade a county on the cutting edge of sustainability,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Together with our shore-to-power project that will soon become a reality, these investments continue to position PortMiami as an industry leader and help to ensure our community becomes future-ready.”

“The Seaboard Blue is a key new component to Seaboard’s fleet transformation,” said Eddie Gonzalez, President, and CEO of Seaboard Marine. “The recent purchase of this LNG-powered ship not only demonstrates Seaboard Marine’s ongoing commitment to sustainability but also to providing reliable service to our customers. As South Florida’s premier ocean carrier, we are grateful for the level of support we have received from Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, PortMiami, Shell, the United States Coast Guard, and the Biscayne Bay Pilots.”

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