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Newman hitting all the right notes at SSU

ROHNERT PARK - Her first name is Travis and so right there you should get the hint her story will not follow conventional lines, that she ended up on SSU's basketball team by taking not the path less traveled but by taking the path that maybe has never been traveled.

And that would be choosing to spend her college days living in either Greenwich Village or Rohnert Park. And that's a sentence I'm pretty sure has never been written.

Yes, Travis Newman exploded with a laugh at the thought.

"I love being unique," said the freshman guard-forward.

In October 2010 Newman was a high school senior at Chaminade in West Hills in Southern California. Team captain. Team would go 29-5. All-CIF. School's Athlete of the Year. Colleges swarmed. A lot of Ivy League schools, like Harvard, Columbia. UC San Diego was in the mix. New York University was in there, too. Many others came a-courtin'. Little Sonoma State? On the fringes, at the beginning.

"Every time a school showed interest," Newman said, "I went to their website. I wanted to see what they offered in their music programs. Most of the schools put little emphasis on jazz. Mostly classical and symphony. Nothing wrong with that. I love all music. But jazz was my thing."

Had been since she was four, when she started playing the piano and learning how to sing. Newman, a 6-foot guard-forward, kept crossing schools off the list. Either they didn't put emphasis on jazz or they were sub-par in basketball. She was very picky, to this point:

"If Juilliard offered you a music scholarship, would you take it, even though you know the school doesn't offer sports?"

"I wouldn't," she said. "I love basketball just as much."

That's why Newman thought all along she would be going to NYU.

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