WINCHESTER — Taylor Stricklin received an elite honor this week.
The 5-foot-11 sophomore guard for the Umpqua Community College women’s basketball team was selected to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Two-Year College Coaches’ All-America team.
The team is selected by a committee of WBCA member coaches in that division.
Also making the 10-player team were Natasha Mack of Angelina College, Daliyah Brown of Miami-Dade College, Abby Coates of Illinois Central College, Alexus Dye of Gulf Coast State College, Gabbie Green of South Plains College, Patrycja Jaworska of Miles Community College, Juliunn Redmond of Tallahassee Community College, Brooke Reynolds of Central Maine Community College and Silvia Veloso of Seward County Community College.
Mack, who averaged 23.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game during the regular season for the Texas school, was named the player of the year.
Stricklin is wrapping up her season as the Riverhawks (27-4) meet Big Bend (27-4) on Saturday in a Final Four semifinal game of the Northwest Athletic Conference Championships in Everett, Washington. The winner will advance to Sunday’s title contest.
She’s the fifth UCC women’s player to be a first-team All-American, joining Sawyer Kluge (2016), Ashli Payne (2015), Jessica Fisiikava (2005) and Aubrey Dickson (1999).
“Honestly, my reaction was shocked,” she said of the honor. “It’s not something you really think is going to happen to you. I’ve been around the program long enough, and have seen a lot of girls get it and a lot of girls that were good not get it — Jordan Stotler (who played from 2016-18) being one.
“When you think about some of the girls who haven’t gotten honors like that, it makes it a little more special because it’s hard to get there and get that recognition. I’m obviously grateful and appreciate it ... I wouldn’t do it without my teammates.”
Stricklin, who was selected the South Region MVP after leading the Riverhawks to a share of the league title, leads the NWAC in scoring (23.9 points per game) and 3-point field goals made (132). She’s shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc, and also averages 4.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals.
“I thought it was really cool (for Taylor),” Umpqua teammate Darian Mitchell said. “I’m really proud of her, it’s a good thing for her and the team. She’s worked really hard and deserves it.”
Stricklin ranks second on the Umpqua career scoring list with 1,268 points, trailing Heidi Buehler (1,303 from 2000-02).
“As a coach and parent, I couldn’t be happier for her,” UCC coach Dave Stricklin, Taylor’s father, said. “She’s not the best athlete on the floor ... not the fastest, not the quickest. She’s a grinder. She just works really hard and you like to see that rewarded.”