Carroll proved good fit for Mead grad Green
Alysha Green almost slipped under the radar.
It’s easy to understand why.
Green dropped out of sight by going to tiny Carroll College in Helena and redshirting.
Green had been an honorable mention All-Greater Spokane League selection for Mead, averaging 9.7 points as a senior. But that year, 10 of the 11 players who made up the first two teams played in college, nine in Division I. The two juniors ended up with Pac-10 scholarships.
“It’s amazing when you look back,” Green said. “I was definitely very proud to be part of that.”
Kelli Valentine, her best friend from grade school and Panthers teammate – now playing professionally in the Netherlands – was starting toward the 1,000-point club at Portland State while Green sat out. League MVP Angie Bjorklund of University was winning an NCAA title with Tennessee.
But Green has no regrets how her career played out.
“I always wanted to play in college,” she said. “It was a slow process. I don’t know if I thought it would turn out as good as it has. I just got lucky with coaches and teammates. The level is a perfect fit for me. I really couldn’t see myself anywhere else.”
Green and the Saints will be at Idaho on Thursday, when she’ll be the focus of the Vandals’ scouting report. The 5-foot-8 senior guard, a two-time All-Frontier League selection, is leading the 3-4 Saints in scoring at 14.4 points per game, despite switching from off guard to point guard for new coach Rachelle Gardner-Sayers.
Green landed at Carroll after being pointed that way by Panthers assistant and former Saints player Danielle Zelinski.
“We got to talking about how it might be a good fit,” Green said. “I talked to the coaches when I was a junior and went to their camp. It all fell into place.”
Four of the five members of her recruiting class decided to redshirt and were on the sidelines when a veteran team, coached by Shawn Nelson, who is now at Central Washington, made it to the NAIA national tournament.
Watching was difficult, but the tradeoff has been worthwhile.
“That fifth year is really nice,” Green said. “With school it worked out perfectly.”
She is going to have a double major in community health and psychology. She’s going to join Nelson at Central as a grad assistant and work on a master’s in mental health.
She might even go back.
“I love Helena,” she said. “It grows on you. It’s a lot smaller than Spokane, but I kind of like that. The small school, it’s got a homey feel.”
Now she’s mentoring another Panther, as freshman Kalee Junkermier is a key contributor off the bench. Next year Katie Estey of Central Valley and Cassie Anderson from Gonzaga Prep are off to Helena, part of the connection Gardner-Sayers made as a long-time Weber State assistant who landed Tonya Schnibbe from University.
Eastern Washington ends a weeklong break by facing Gonzaga on Friday. Gonzaga is home again Sunday against Montana, and Eastern is home against Eastern Oregon on Monday.
Idaho has three home games, starting with Carroll on Thursday.
Washington State ends a nine-day break by facing Riverside on Sunday as part of a doubleheader with the men’s team.
Montana (4-3) won its first road game with a 10-point win at Wyoming as Katy Baker (Coeur d’Alene) hit 11 of 13 shots for 22 points. … Eastern Oregon, the 10th-ranked NAIA team, has a strong local connection coming to Cheney next week. It’s a homecoming game for Kyle Miller. The former Blackhawk is third in scoring at 9.7 despite coming off the bench for the Mountaineers. Brooke Randall (Community Colleges of Spokane) is the leading scorer at 11.4 and Nyesha Joseph (University) has played in all but a couple of games. … Sophomore Loree Hill (Central Valley), the backup post for fifth-ranked NAIA Lewis-Clark State, tore an ACL and is out for the season. Senior post Kirsi Voshell (Pullman) is second on the team in scoring (11.1) and rebounding (8.7). EOU is at LCSC on Thursday.