Shine Is Glad to Be Back in the Spotlight for El Modena


For those who haven’t seen the commercial--it was broadcast during the Super Bowl, somewhere between Johnny Kilroy and Cindy Crawford--El Modena’s Jamie Shine is fine.

Shine, in the commercial for a health maintenance organization, recalls her close call with death. In fact, it was only 10 months ago that doctors gave her little chance to live. She contracted the most aggressive strain of bacterial meningitis, was in a coma for 30 hours and came perilously close to dying.

But she came out of the coma, has regained her memory skills--she suffered from short-term memory deficit--and recently completed another successful season for El Modena’s basketball team.


In fact, when the Vanguards tip off against Cypress on Saturday in the first round of the Southern Section Division II-A playoffs, Shine will be jumping center.

It’s unlikely the Vanguards will go all the way in a division that features the Centurions and Mission Hills Alemany, but the fact they’re here is notable.

Shine had the impact season most players who haven’t had her struggles can appreciate: She averaged a team-high 15.1 points and 13.4 rebounds one year after averaging 16.5 points and 12.6 rebounds. The Vanguards (11-10) tied for second in the Century League and upset league champion Villa Park behind Shine’s 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Her coach, John Cahill, sent out a recruiting sheet and Arizona State, Washington State and San Jose State have shown interest. Some colleges also have expressed interest in her as a volleyball player.

“I always tell them she didn’t play in the AAU leagues so she didn’t get any exposure,” Cahill said. “She had planned on going to some of the summer camps but couldn’t--it’s not like she didn’t want to, she just couldn’t.

“A lot of them have already heard her story and they’ll ask if she’s OK, and I tell them she’s completely recovered and she’s one of the top players in the county. But a lot of them probably don’t know to what extent it was.”


Shine has bounced back from last summer, when she had trouble hitting the rim on free throws. Now, she’s El Modena’s leader on and off the court.

“She came back and said she was going to be one of the top players around,” Cahill said. “I know she was scared over the summer--the free throws really embarrassed her. It would have been easy for her to rest, but it just goes to show she’s not the type to give up and lay down.”

In returning to basketball and trying to regain her skills and coordination, after being off her feet for about a month after her hospitalization in April, Shine said she felt like someone who hasn’t spoken a foreign language in a couple of years.

“It started off with my strength, and then it went to my head,” Shine said. “Free throws are just a matter of concentration, and I started to get frustrated with myself. I would actually try not to get fouled so I wouldn’t have to shoot free throws, and that’s unlike me.”

But she’s now over that. Shine is a better shooter this year, but she knows she still has room for improvement. And the only remnants of her illness?

“Occasionally,” Shine said, “I think I’m not playing with the same instincts.”

But at least she’s still playing.

Division II-AA at a Glance

Defending champion: Brea-Olinda (now in Division III-AA).

Top-seeded teams: Woodbridge (25-0), Riverside J.W. North (23-2), Inglewood (10-11), Ocean View (21-4).


Dark horse: Cerritos Gahr (11-15). The Knights were in last year’s final, and forfeited 10 victories this season for using an ineligible player.

Top players: Wynette Allen (North), Barbara Argent (Glendora), Angela Burgess (Woodbridge), Yanick Clay (Inglewood), Angela Darnell (Hemet), Elizabeth Edmond (North), Shontey Edwards (Moreno Valley), Becky Fraser (Ocean View), Shannon Gale (Gahr), Elena Gomez (Moreno Valley), Dyanna Hatch (Trabuco Hills), Briana Kanongata (Oxnard Rio Mesa), Farrah Magee (Ocean View), Michelle Marshall (Hemet), Michelle Miyake (Villa Park), Michol Murray (Garden Grove), Jamie Oenning (Woodbridge), Melanie Pearson (Woodbridge), Summer Peterson (Oxnard Rio Mesa), Maureen Skehan (Villa Park), Jennifer Tuiolosega (Ocean View), Valencia Suggs (Gahr).

Best draw: Gahr. Beat first-round opponent Inglewood, 53-24, and beat fourth-seeded Ocean View, 55-37. They’re sitting pretty.

Worst draw: Riverside Norte Vista (9-12). The Braves are in trouble. They have a qualifying game against Moreno Valley (18-5), then would have to play second-seeded North.

Notes: The probable first-round matchup between Moreno Valley and North could easily pass for a semifinal-caliber meeting . . . Woodbridge has never begun the playoffs with the No. 1 seeding . . . Although unseeded, Villa Park (21-3) has the third-best record in the division . . . Woodbridge, for the first time, had three players with more than 100 assists in a season--Oenning (113), Tami Weaver (111) and Pearson (103) . . . Four of Moreno Valley’s five losses were to one team, Perris. Moreno Valley defeated Woodbridge over the summer.

Division II-A at a Glance

Defending champion: Hacienda Heights Wilson.

Top-seeded teams: Mission Hills Alemany (23-0), Cypress (23-3), La Puente Bishop Amat (21-1), Ventura (18-5).


Dark horse: Compton Dominguez (19-9). The Dons are in the same league as Cerritos Gahr, which has a good chance to reach the II-AA final, and the bracket favors them; they open with Freeway League champion Troy on the road. Dominguez plays wall-to-wall pressure defense.

Top players: Julie Adams (Cypress), LaQuinta Alexander (Valencia), Ember Brown (Ventura), Heather Carll (La Mirada), Chris Carrillo (Katella), Sarah Davis (Tustin), Jessica Eggleston (Cypress), Susan Flaming (Cypress), Jennie Gadd (Troy), Karin Kitagawa (Kennedy), Robynn Kuhlmann (Canyon), Katie Scheuerman (Tustin), Dinah Shah (Troy), Jamie Shine (El Modena), Lacey Sollie (Whittier La Serna), Kiana Webb (Bishop Amat).

Best draw: Bishop Amat. The Lancers have the division’s second-best record, and the only league champions they could play before the semifinals come from outposts like Brawley (13-5) and San Bernardino (21-4).

Worst draw: La Mirada. The Matadores (12-11) open against Valencia (12-9), which has already beaten them, 57-48. Should they win, they will likely face top-seeded Alemany.

Notes: Alemany beat Division I power Mater Dei this season by 20 points, which should put the Indians’ talent into perspective; Brea-Olinda beat Mater Dei by 16. . . . Valencia Coach Kelly Stephenson and La Mirada Coach Sharon Wada, facing each other in the first round, were best friends while at Occidental College. . . . Cypress has a height advantage over most of its opponents, but first-round foe El Modena won’t be intimidated; the Vanguards’ front line averages 6-1.