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PC's Shew named Athlete of the Month
Alex Shew swears she doesn’t get sick of all the accolades.
Good thing, too, because she’ll have to make room on the trophy shelf for her latest one: California Community College Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Month for February.
That may seem like a mouthful, but it doesn’t do justice to the scope of the accomplishment. Put it this way: Shew was selected out of 109 athletic programs made up of nearly 25,000 male and female athletes in all of California. She became the first student-athlete from Porterville College and first female athlete in the Central Valley Conference to earn the distinction since the award was created five years ago.
“I would say that’s the biggest honor of my basketball career,” said Shew, who was last year’s East Yosemite League MVP. “I was so stoked when I found out (Wednesday) and I’m still smiling about it today.”
As a freshman shooting guard for PC, the former Porterville High standout took the scoring duties upon her shoulders, averaging 21.4 points per game for the 2009-10 season.
During the month of February, Shew shot a blistering 47.5 percent from the floor and averaged 26.8 points over five games.
Against 10-0 CVC champion Fresno City College on Feb. 20, Shew raised her game to another level, dropping a career-high 35 points — the highest of any scoring performance in the conference this season.
Even more impressive is the fact that Shew played most of the season at half strength. During the Barstow Tournament in late November, she tweaked her knee and sat out two games.
Apparently, Shew decided that was enough rest and played the remainder of the year until she finally paid a visit to the doctor last week.
“(The doctor) said I could possibly have a torn meniscus,” Shew said. “When he found out I kept playing on it, he was like, ‘Yeah, you shouldn’t have done that.’”
Shew wore a brace on her left knee that helped protect her from the physical grind of bumps and dives on the floor, but the pain still prevented her from jumping and running to the best of her abilities.
Still, Shew refused to admit that the injury played any real effect.
“I gave 100 percent on the floor every game,” Shew said. “Did it hurt? Yeah, it hurt but I could still help my team out.”
The 5-foot-8 guard managed to grab five rebounds per game with averages of nearly two assists and two steals, but the Pirates struggled to rack up the stats in the win column, finishing 4-20 (2-8 CVC).
Shew decided to stay close to home for her freshman year despite chances to play for larger schools elsewhere.
Though PC doesn’t offer athletic scholarships, Shew is still getting most of her tuition paid an academic scholarship and the Central Valley Twin Scholarship she and her twin brother, Nick (who attends Chico State), share.
As for the future, Shew is hoping University of Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summit is paying attention to her latest accomplishments.
Shew met Summit at a basketball camp two years ago in Tennessee, where her family hails from, and gave Summit a tape of her highlights.
“I know I’m aiming high,” Shew said, “but I’ve been hitting the gym hard and working on my shot. I really wanna go D-I.”
As for next season, Shew plans to return and help PC take another crack at a conference championship.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’m not leaving soon.”