by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Add two All-Americans to those two NJCAA DII championships at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Nija Collier was named today to the first All-America team; Kisi Young to the second team announced by the NJCAA. It is the first time KCKCC has had two All-Americans the same season.
Both Collier and Young were also members of the all-tournament team at the national tourney and were both first team All-Jayhawk and All-Region selections.
“Obviously this is good for our program and recruiting but first and foremost, I am so proud of these two girls,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “They gave me maximum effort at all times with how hard they played and competed. It’s why they received the recognition they have and so deserved.”
A 6-foot sophomore from the Detroit suburb of Roseville, Michigan, Collier is the sixth Lady Blue Devil to be named a first team All-American. She joins Aneta Kausaite, Jurgita Kausaite, Stephanie Brown, Cierra Gaines and Cheyenne North on KCKCC’s list of first-team selections.
Being named to the All-America first team caps one of the best seasons in NJCAA DII history for Collier. The MVP of the NJCAA national tournament, Collier was also the KJCCC Player of the Year, a two-time NJCAA National Player of the Week and an unparalled six-time KJCCC Player of the Week.
The Blue Devil leader in scoring (17.3), rebounding (9.7) and blocked shots (1.5), Collier was the only player to finish in the Top Five in all major statistical categories in the Jayhawk Conference, finishing second in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage (.585) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (.400). Although a starter in only five games, Collier finished seventh nationally in offensive rebounds (165), 16th in total rebounds (349) and 13th in shooting percentage. Her 349 rebounds are fourth most in KCKCC history as are her 20 double-doubles.
“Very talented with a big motor that sets her apart from other players,” McKinstry says of Collier. “At 6-foot, she has long arms, fantastic athleticism and great jumping ability. Her second and third jumps going after a rebound are as good as her first. She’s like a pogo stick. Very skilled, she can shoot with both her right and left hand and is phenomenal from the perimeter and free-throw line.”
Young, a 5-9 sophomore from Magnolia, Arkansas, re-wrote the KCKCC record book for field goal percentage. Second on the all-time list when she shot 60.7 percent as a freshman, Young’s .639 shooting percentage this year is the best ever.
While undersized at 5-9, Young was third in rebounding in the Jayhawk at 8.7 per game and her 571 career rebounds are fifth on the all-time list. KCKCC’s leader in both scoring (14.4) and rebounding (8.1) as a freshman, Young averaged 10.6 points and 2.1 assists this season.
“Kisi is someone I would describe as position-less,” McKinstry said. “She’s just a basketball player who does a lot of things well and is very unselfish. Undersized at about 5-9, she plays like she’s 6-foot. She’s able to play around the basket against bigger players than she is but on the flip side, she can go out and guard smaller players on the perimeter because of her quickness, length and athleticism. Offensively, she can go from one end of the floor to the other quicker than just about anyone she faces and her shooting percentage speaks for itself.”
Two other Jayhawk Conference players were named to All-America teams. Highland’s Stefania Chiziane, the conference’s leading scorer at 18.1, was named to the first team and teammate Janiya Davis to the third team.