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West Brunswick senior Sheena Suttlemyre signed a letter of intent April 28 to play basketball at Brunswick Community College.
Suttlemyre is a three-sport athlete, but basketball has always been her favorite sport.
“I’ve been playing it since I was 8 or 9,” she said.
This season, she averaged averaged a team-high 11.2 points a game as a guard/forward and made All-Waccamaw Conference. She scored 258 of the West’s 1,140 points. She hit 22 of West’s 39 3-pointers.
She also averaged 2.9 assists a game and 3.1 steals a game, second best on the team. She averaged 3.5 rebounds a game.
Suttlemyre said the highlight this season was the Senior Night game against Whiteville in which she scored 29 points.
West coach James Walker said it was Suttlemyre’s defense that helped the West team reached the sectional final in one of the best seasons of the program.
“A lot of it had to do with her improving on defense,” Walker said. “We talked about that before the season started. She had the skills to shoot the ball and handle the ball. She just needed to improve her defense, and she did.”
Suttlemyre said she chose BCC because it offered her the best opportunity, and it was a local college. She hopes to become an athletics director.
“I think going to BCC will prepare me better for a four-year university in basketball and academically,” Suttlemyre said.
BCC coach Ashlyn Burke said she is “extremely excited” about having Suttlemyre on the team.
Burke took over the team several weeks before the 2009-10 season began and had limited opportunity to recruit players. BCC won three games. But Burke has signed nine players in 10 days for the 2010-11 season.
“We’re so excited about bringing in this new class, doing it the way we want to do it,” she said. “This is the crucial year, where we say, ‘This is how we want this program at BCC run.’”
Burke said she told recruits “we were bad” last year, but that “if you want to come in here and you want to make history, and you want to be part of program that will change this year, this is your school.
“What we have at BCC is going to boon.”
Burke, whose dad was a successful college coach in North Carolina and whose brother is the men’s coach at Spartanburg Methodist, admits she will be a demanding coach as she tries to turn around the program.
“My dad was a very disciplined coach,” she said. “That’s what I saw when I was growing up. The school bus dropped me off, I went into the gym, I watched practice. If dad needed a person to stand there (for a drill), I was there.”
And that discipline is how Burke intends to coach this new class of which Suttlemyre will be a part.
“There are going to be days you like me and there are going to be days you hate me,” she said she told recruits. “We have 6:30 a.m. workouts. We’re in the weight room.”
Burke said Suttlemyre is a leader.
“It’s easier to coach girls who are leaders, who are determined, who want to win. If you come in and you work 100 percent, I’ll get you where you want to be.
“If I can get this crew to play together, I think we’ll shock some people. I’m still in need of some big girls, but it’s hard to get girls in here when you don’t have scholarship money or housing on campus. I feel fortunate I got these girls.”
Walker said Suttlemyre, who has the talent to play at least Division II basketball, “will fit right in” at BCC.
Suttlemyre has a 4.0 GPA.
“She’s a very good student,” Walker said.
On the basketball court, “Sheena’s very athletic,” Walker said. “Sheena has the skills to play at the next level. She’s worked really hard, particularly this past year, on her defense and rebounding. She can shoot the 3-pointer, and she can handle the ball as well.”
By focusing on one sport instead of three, Suttlemyre will become a better basketball player, Walker said.
“She’ll be concentrating on one sport pretty much year round,” he said. “And she’ll just get better—better defensively, in shot selection and maturing as a player.”
Below is the list of the other players Burke has signed for the 2010-11 season:
Julia Crews, Carolina Forest High School, Conway, S.C., shooting guard. Ray of Hope Scholarship nominee, 2010. All-State, 2009-2010. WPDE All-Hoop Zone player, 2009-2010. State of South Carolina leader in 3-point shooting, 2009-2010. Carolina Forest record 3-pointers in a game, eight. Carolina Forest all-time leader in free-throw percentage, 80 percent. Carolina Forest leader in steals in a single season, 73. Member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Governors Citizenship Award Winner. GPA 3.5.
Cassie Harrell, forward, Williamston High School: All-Conference 2008-2009, 2006-2007. All-Tournament basketball team for 2010 regional. Team was second in state in 2010. Senior class president. All-Academic four years of high school. GPA 3.5.
Alexis Jones, guard/forward, Burke High School: Class AA 2010 All-State team. South Carolina North-South All-Star Game, 2010. GPA 3.0.
Tequlia Jones, forward, Westover High School, transfer from Daytona State College. 2008-2009 MVP state tournament. Mid-Southeastern Conference Player of the Week. Mid-Southeastern All-Conference, 2006-07. Mid-Southeastern 4-A Conference champions, 2006-07. Second in the conference for rebounding, 2006-07.
Keandra Long, East Lincoln High School guard. Freshman year was Most improved and All-Conference. Sophomore year: MVP and All-Conference. Junior year: Best Defense, All-Conference, All-Tournament (Holiday Classic). Reached 1,000-point mark. Senior Year: Captain, MVP, All-Conference.
Brittany McIver, Wilson High School, Florence S.C., shooting guard. Pee Dee Invitational All Tournament, 2008-09. Coaches Award, 2008-09. Pee Dee Invitational All-Tournament team and MVP, 2009-10. All Region/TV 15 Hoop Zone team, 2009-10. GPA 3.5.
Emily Schweer, guard/forward, Denver High School, Denver Iowa, guard/forward. Three-year MVP. Second team All-Conference. Set school record for most assists in a game. Set career record for assists. Iowa All-Star Game. GPA 3.7.
Tranisha White, Wilson High School, Florence, S.C., guard. Pee Dee invitational All-Tournament, 2008-2009. TV 15 Hoop Zone Team, 2008-2009. Team MVP, 2008-2009. Shoot Out by the Sea All-Tournament, 2009-10. Pee Dee Invitational All-Tournament and MVP, 2009-10. TV 15 Hoop Zone Team, 2009-10. All-State, 2009-10. North-South All-Star Game, 2009-10.