SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Basketball sharp-shooters Tucker Eenigenburg of Bakersfield College and Kasey Smit from Irvine Valley College turned in outstanding performances during the first month of 2018 and were rewarded for their efforts by being named the California Community College Sports Information Association Men's and Women's Athletes of the Months, it was announced on Friday.
The monthly award which spans the CCC sports season from September through May has been in existence since 2005 when the CCCSIA began the task of choosing a male and female athlete of the month.
Tucker Eenigenburg – Basketball – Bakersfield – Sophomore
For the month of January, Bakersfield’s Tucker Eenigenburg averaged 23.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and two assists per game over the course of nine games. He shot 52.4 percent from the floor, 53.4 percent from three-point range and 91 percent from the free-throw line. Eenigenburg had a career high 51 points, in an 87-81 win, against College of the Canyons on Jan. 27. In that game, he was 13 of 21 (61.9 percent) from the floor, 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) from three-point range and 17 of 17 (100 percent) from the free-throw line.
Kasey Smit – Basketball – Irvine Valley - Sophomore
Kasey Smit had a monster month of January in the Orange Empire Conference for the Irvine Valley women’s basketball team. The 6-0 sophomore forward averaged 24.1 points, 14.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.9 blocks a game for IVC during the month. The Lasers went 9-0 in January.
Her nine games during the month included a 30-point, 20-rebound performance in a 77-53 IVC win over Riverside at home on Jan. 24. It was the second time in three games that she scored at least 30 points. Smit finished with a career-high at the time 34 points to go along with 15 rebounds and three assists in Irvine Valley’s 74-68 victory at Cypress on Jan. 17. And she had 27 points and 23 rebounds in IVC’s 83-50 win at Saddleback on Jan. 26.
Men's Honorable Mention
JaKari McClain – Basketball – Oxnard – Sophomore
At 32.8 points per game, Oxnard’s JaKari McClain led the state in scoring at the end of the month of January. He had a 44-point game in Oxnard’s 114-110 win over Bakersfield on Jan. 9 and then scored 41 points in an 89-74 loss at Ventura. He had scored at least 30 points in nine games this season.
Rodney “Rocket” Henderson – Basketball – Santiago Canyon – Sophomore
Sophomore guard Rodney Henderson tore up the Orange Empire Conference (one of the toughest conferences in the state) in the month of January averaging an incredible 32.3 points per game. He led the conference with a season scoring average of 26.4 points per game. The team may be out of contention for a conference title, but “Rocket” has been the leader of a team in its first season and may get them into the postseason with an overall record of 17-8.
Elishja Duplechan – Basketball – Yuba – Freshman
During the month of January, Elishja Duplechan put up incredible numbers to help lead the Yuba men’s basketball team to a perfect 10-0 record. For the season he is averaging 17.5 points, 5.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game, but in January he turned it up to 20.2 points, 7.1 assists, 2.9 steals and 5.3 rebounds per game. The 49'ers were in first place at 19-5 overall and 11-1 in the Bay Valley Conference. He also helps in the community and is sporting a 3.786 grade point average.
Women's Honorable Mention
Doris Jones – Basketball – Diablo Valley – Sophomore
Doris Jones averaged 27.3 points per game in the month of January for Diablo Valley. She had four 30-plus point games, including 32 points in a big win for Diablo Valley over Sierra College. She scored 25 of those points in the second half to help hand Sierra its first loss of the season. In the month of January, Jones became the all-time leading scorer in DVC history by surpassing 1,000 career points scored in 51 games.
Alisa Shinn – Basketball – Pasadena City – Sophomore
Alisa Shinn, a 6-3 forward, put on a post clinic in the month of January. The unheralded Shinn averaged 22.3 points, shot 51 percent from the floor with many of her shot attempts a variety of jumpers, hooks and follow-ups from 12 to 17 feet away. She averaged 11.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, two steals and two blocks per contest. In a 37-point win over defending state champ Mt. SAC, she keyed the blowout on 34 points and 21 rebounds.
Britney Thomas – Basketball – Mt. San Jacinto – Sophomore
Britney Thomas helped the Mt. San Jacinto women’s basketball team to a record of 8-0 in the month of January. She averaged 18.8 points, 15.6 rebounds, three blocks and three assists per game during the month, including a game against MiraCosta where she had 25 points, 23 rebounds, six blocks and three assists.
(Brent Shaver, Irvine Valley college for the CCCSIA)