Five Clovis West girls basketball players commit to college
In addition to winning three straight Central Section D1 titles, the class of 2021 is loaded with senior talent.
The Clovis West class of 2021 features seven seniors, five who have committed to play college. Starting on left: Alexa Silva, Kendall Jackson, Nikki Tom, Amaya Snowden, Justyce Harris, Jada Oatman and Alyssa Kuniyoshi.
It’s no secret the Clovis West girls basketball program is a factory, churning out Central Section titles – eight in a row and counting – and launching a ton of players into college.
And while we wait patiently for the 2020-2021 high school sports season to begin, this year’s crop of seven Golden Eagles seniors currently boasts five who have verbally committed, with two more fielding offers.
The following players have verbally committed to play in college:
- Nikki Tom – UC Irvine
- Justyce Harris – Concordia University
- Kendall Jackson – Concordia University
- Amaya Snowden – Cal State University Dominguez Hills
- Jada Oatman – Fresno Pacific University
In addition, Alexa Silva and Alyssa Kuniyoshi are both talking to schools and being recruited.
“They are all high academic, high character kids who come from a strong culture,” Clovis West coach Craig Campbell said. “To see these kids get those offers is very satisfying especially in this uncertain time. They’ve all earned these opportunities.”
Campbell estimates in his 15 years at Clovis West his players have earned well over four million dollars worth of scholarship money. In fact, the number will be close to five million when the class of 2021 is factored in.
“One of his many goals is getting us ready to play at the college level,” Oatman said of Campbell. “He and the staff have put in countless hours and tons of energy into each and every one of us, trying to make us the best we can be. They not only care about us as basketball players but they care about who we are as a person off of the court.”
That effort certainly showed on and off the court as the 2021 class boasts a varsity record of 90-13 led by Tom, a 3-time Cal-Hi Sports All-State selection and the 2019 TRAC MVP. The guard averaged 15 ppg, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and shot 86% from the free throw line.
Tom says choosing UC Irvine was a slam dunk.
“I decided on Irvine because it was a perfect fit for me in all aspects,” Tom said. “The style of play and location was just what I was looking for and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. But what impressed me the most was how much Coach Inoue and her coaching staff believed in me early on as a sophomore. UC Irvine has everything I wanted and I can’t wait for the future.”
Oatman started every game last season and has the ability to get to the basket with her athleticism from the guard position. She says the proximity of Fresno Pacific made the choice easy and the relationships she built with head coach Tim Beauguard was instrumental in her decision to be a Sunbird.
“I also liked how easy it was to mesh and communicate with Coach Beauguard, the coaching staff, and be able to be close with my future teammates,” said Oatman, an aspiring teacher. “They have a great basketball program and I’ve wanted to go to college and play basketball there all along. “
Harris is a 5-foot-9 all around player who is listed as a guard but is a formable rebounder and excellent defensive player. Snowden, a 6-foot forward, is a presence down low who can score around the rim and Jackson is a hustle guard and defensive specialist who can also hit from 3-point land.
“Having one of my best friends commit to the same college will really help make the adjustment much easier,” Jackson said about Harris, her future roommate. “We have great chemistry on the court offensively but defensively is where I believe our chemistry will shine.”
While their college careers are still a year away they’ll have to wait to get on the court for their senior year due to the Coronavirus. The CIF has pushed back the high school sports season to January 2021 (cross country, boys and girls water polo and volleyball can begin Dec. 28, 2020). Basketball games are set to start March 20, 2021.
However, despite the uncertainties in regards to high school sports, the Clovis West girls basketball class of 2021 is certainly a special one.
“The summer before your senior year is a time for those kids to be showcased and to have that taken away is a shame,” Campbell added. “But between their hard work and time they put in and what they’ve accomplished on the court they’ve earned it. Schools know what they’re getting in a Clovis West player.”