The following are updates on local athletes at the collegiate level.
Lawrence White (Burroughs High, 2013) UC Davis men’s basketball senior: The one-time Indians standout was part of a truly historic postseason run for the Aggies.
White played in all 36 games for UC Davis and made 35 starts. The guard averaged 7.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest along with tallying 36 steals and 26 blocks for the season.
UC Davis posted a 23-13 record and finished 11-5 in Big West Conference play to take second place.
The Aggies began a magical postseason in the conference tournament, which included a buzzer-beating 66-64 overtime victory over Cal State Fullerton in the semifinals in Anaheim on March 10.
The next day, No. 2-seed UC Davis upset No. 1 UC Irvine, 50-47, by closing out the contest with a 13-5 run. The victory qualified UC Davis to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Aggies were given a No. 16 seed and were slotted to face Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament champion North Carolina Central in a play-in game in Dayton, Ohio on March 15.
UC Davis went from just mere participant to winner by defeating North Carolina Central, 67-63, to capture the program’s inaugural tournament victory and earn advancement to the field of 64 versus No. 1 seed and powerhouse Kansas in the first round on March 17 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Though UC Davis was competitive for the first 10 minutes, Kansas flexed its muscles to the tune of a season-ending 100-62 defeat for the Aggies.
White finished with four points and three rebounds versus Kansas in his collegiate swansong.
Rishonda Napier (Bellarmine-Jefferson, 2012) Southern Illinois women’s basketball redshirt senior: Perhaps not surprising, the Guards alumna turned in another fantastic season, which was her final with the Salukis.
Napier was named an All-Missouri Valley Conference selection for a third straight season as the guard merited first-team honors.
Napier started in all 31 games and finished with 90 consecutive starts for her career. She averaged 13.3 points, a team-leading 4.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game with 45 steals. Napier also scored 10 or more points in 24 of her team’s 31 games.
Napier was more than just a great player, though, as the Burbank native earned a conference first-team scholar-athlete award after the economics major boasted a 3.50 grade-point average. The accolade was the third for Napier.
Southern Illinois finished 16-15 and 10-8 in conference, which was good for fourth place.
The fourth-seeded Salukis were upset by No. 5 Wichita State, 70-63, in the conference tournament quarterfinals in Quad Cities, Ill. on March 10.
The defeat cost Southern Illinois a chance at qualifying to the NCAA Tournament, though the Salukis accepted a bid to Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament.
Southern Illinois fell again, this time by a 81-53 defeat to Milwaukee in the first round in Wisconsin on March 15.
Napier finished with 1,728 points in her career, second-most all time and just short of the 1,779-point mark of former teammate Cartaesha Macklin.
Jasmine Smith (Bellarmine-Jefferson, 2012) San Jose State women’s basketball senior: Though the season did not go particularly well from a team perspective, the Bell-Jeff product turned in a strong individual campaign for the Spartans.
Smith averaged 12.1 points and 8.2 rebounds for San Jose State with 40 steals and 10 blocks as a forward, while making 30 starts.
Perhaps her signature game took place at Nevada on Feb. 28 when Smith hit 12 of 15 field goals and was two for two from the free-throw line in scoring a career-high 26 points, which was accompanied by six rebounds in an 108-85 loss.
San Jose State posted an 11-21 record with a 7-11 mark in the Mountain West Conference standings for eighth place.
The Spartans picked up a 76-58 victory over No. 9 San Diego State in the first round of the conference tournament on March 6 in Las Vegas. The season ended the next day, though, in a 65-60 setback to No. 1 Colorado State.
Austin Pope (Burbank, 2013) Chaminade University men’s basketball junior: The Burbank High alumnus had a season to remember for the NCAA Division II Silverswords.
Pope was named an All-Pacific West Conference third-team award winner in his debut season with the Hawaii-based school.
The guard averaged 12.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists per game along with 38 steals and 28 blocks. Pope started in all 29 of his team’s contest.
Chaminade finished with an 18-11 record that included a 13-7 mark in league, which tied the squad for fourth in conference.
Chaminade defeated Azusa Pacific, 69-65, in the conference quarterfinals in Irvine on March 2. The next day, the Silverswords were beaten by top seed Hawai’i Pacific, 96-90, in the semifinals.
Anastasia Tsybaeva (Burbank High, 2015) East Los Angeles College women’s basketball sophomore: When the South Coast Conference North Division released its postseason awards, the former Bulldog found her name on the honors list.
Tsybaeva, a 6-foot-6 sophomore center, was named to the conference second team after averaging 7.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.
Tsybaeva played in 28 of East Los Angeles College’s 31 games with 24 starts, though she averaged just under 12 minutes per contest.
East Los Angeles completed a pretty strong 2016-17 campaign as the Huskies posted a 28-3 record with a 9-1 mark in the SCC North Division, which caused a split division title with powerful Mt. San Antonio College.
East Los Angeles advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs before losing to Siskiyous in the CCCAA quarterfinals, 93-81, on March 10.