by Alan Hoskins
While one of the biggest thieves in the Jayhawk Conference, Kansas City Kansas Community College freshman Cassidy Harbert’s passion for giving rather than receiving has earned her honorable mention on the 2014 Community College All-America Team chosen by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
Harbert is one of just three players from the Jayhawk Conference earning WBCA honors.
She was joined on the honorable mention list by sophomore guards Timeka O’Neal and Sameia Kendall, who led Johnson County to a 30-2 record and No. 2 national ranking.
No Jayhawk player was named to the 10-member All-America team.
A 5-6 point guard from Wichita Northwest, Harbert led the Jayhawk Conference in assists this past season with 6.32 a game and was third in steals with 3.42 per contest.
Her 197 assists are the most ever by a Lady Blue Devil freshman and second only to the 207 recorded by All-American Aneta Kausaite in 1995-1996.
In addition, Harbert was third in scoring with a 9.7-point average, the Blue Devils’ leader in 3-point field goal percentage (.446), second in rebounding (6.9) and third among the leaders in overall field goal percentage (.432).
Harbert’s season was highlighted by one triple double – 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists – against Westminster and she just missed triple doubles by one assist in one game and two assists or two rebounds in two others among her eight double doubles.
“Very, very deserving,” said KCKCC coach Valerie Stambersky. “She did everything for us, led fast breaks, got the ball up the floor, rebounded and scored. A player who played with an edge, something that’s hard to coach. Either you have it or you don’t and she did.”
The All-America selection was particularly gratifying to the KCKCC coaching staff after Jayhawk Conference coaches ignored Harbert on the all-conference team.
She did receive honorable mention on the All-Region VI team.
“Statistics don’t lie but apparently they were ignored in the conference voting,” Stambersky said.
The Blue Devils finished No. 20 in the NJCAA Division II rankings with a 24-8 record with six of the eight losses coming to teams ranked in the Top 5 nationally. The 24 wins are the most since the 1996-1997 season.