Golden West, Orange Coast women’s basketball players earn academic honor
While the coronavirus pandemic has presented a significant roadblock for teams looking to get back on the court, several women’s basketball players from local junior colleges stepped up to the challenge in the classroom.
Golden West College and Orange Coast College combined to put six players on the California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Assn.’s Academic All-State Team for the 2020-21 school year.
The Rustlers were one of 14 teams to have at least four players earn the academic honor. The Golden West group was made up of four freshmen in Maria Dublevska (3.90 GPA), Liliana Parreno (3.84), Reyna McMorris (3.61) and Neylin Zecua (3.61).
Zecua attended Los Amigos High School in Fountain Valley, while McMorris (Godinez) and Parreno (Rancho Alamitos) also went to Orange County high schools.
McMorris provided 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Rustlers as a freshman.
Golden West women’s basketball coach Barry Migliorini said that under the direction of Tim McGrath, the president of the college, and athletic director Danny Johnson, the college seeks to foster “a culture where athletic success is not enough. They must also succeed in the classroom, which will set them up for success in later life.”
There were 116 players from 41 junior colleges across the state that were recognized for their academic achievement. The standard to be included among the list of honorees included competing in their sport for a year at their college, amassing at least 24 units of credit and maintaining a grade point average of 3.5 or better.
Orange Coast College had freshmen Lea Adame (3.71, Temecula Great Oak) and Gracelynn Figueroa (3.64, Mater Dei) on the all-state academic roster.
Adame led the Pirates in scoring at 13.5 points per game, adding averages of 7.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocked shots and 1.1 steals during the 2019-2020 season.
“It’s a huge honor for both Lea and Gracelynn,” Orange Coast coach Samantha Doucette said. “Both were captains for us last year and showed up every day ready to work hard. Obviously, they worked hard in other aspects, as well … I am so proud.”
Doucette said that Adame has committed to play at Life Pacific University.
“It set a huge standard, and that precedent has trickled down through our whole team,” Doucette said of her players making the academic all-state team. “We killed it in the classroom this fall. Lea had a 4.0 and Gracelynn a 3.6. If we had a season, they’d get the honor again.”
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