By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
Former Clovis High standout Brittany Blackmon thought the transition from high school to South Plains College would be difficult, both academically and athletically.
Blackmon’s initial feeling was wrong.
Second-year Lady Texans coach Michelle Wyatt said the 5-foot-10 Blackmon has provided the Levelland, Texas-based junior college team with quality minutes, averaging 11 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
“She’s been a huge part of our scoring,” Wyatt said. “She brings an attitude to our team that we’re just not going to lose.”
Blackmon’s play has been so monumental to the Lady Texans (12-0) that she has drawn double teams away from sophomore post Dominique Seals, who signed to play for Texas Tech next season.
Blackmon contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds in a victory over then-No. 1-ranked Odessa. She has scored in double figures in all but two of South Plains’ games this season.
Their current run has surprised the Lady Texans, who didn’t know what to expect when the season began, Blackmon said.
“We’re all used to being the best on our team,” Blackmon said. “But we’re all friends off the court, and I think that’s contributed to the chemistry.”
Blackmon considers Wyatt a fun, easy-going coach who has the respect of the entire team.
“She pushes us to do better,” Blackmon said. “Even though our practices aren’t tough, we work hard because we respect her.”
Blackmon finished her Clovis career last season as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,518 points. She also holds the record for most points in a single season with 573.
The child psychology major has had to work hard to achieve her success.
“She had a great knack around the basket,” Clovis coach Miles Watters said. “She also had probably the best hands of any high school player I’ve ever seen.”
Blackmon’s day is jam-packed with classes, followed by 2 1/2 hours of basketball practice, an hour of study hall and one hour of weightlifting.
She loves the game and said that, now playing against bigger players, she has to work on her moves away from the basket.
“Outside of practice, I have to work on my own time,” she said. “It’s all about my attitude, agressiveness and my attitude towards the game.”
Blackmon’s diligence has paid off. She has received letters from Division I programs such as the University of New Mexico, Kansas State and Texas Tech.
For now, she’s not leaning toward any school. She’s living in the moment.
“I just keep my head in the game,” Blackmon said.
College update is compiled by CNJ Sports Writer Greg Price, who can be reached at 763-6991 or at firstname.lastname@example.org