A month after the junior college basketball season ended, Western Nebraska Community College players were still picking up honors.
WNCC sophomore Vinnie Shahid and freshman Merle Wiehl were named captains of the Omaha World Herald’s All-Nebraska JUCO basketball team that was released in April.
The WNCC men landed two players on the first team in sophomores Shahid and Marlon Sierra. Shahid was named captain of the team after earning second team NJCAA All-American honors. Shahid, who is signed to play at North Dakota State next season, averaged 18.4 points and 4.8 assists a game.
Sierra, who is headed to Bowling Green State University in Kentucky, average 12.3 points and 6.8 rebounds a game this past season in helping the Cougars to their first Region IX championship since 2001.
WNCC also landed three Cougars on honorable mention. Sophomores Djordje Dimitrijevic and Trent Harris, along with freshman Jervay Green made the list. Dimitrijevic is headed to Mercer University, a Division I university.
On the junior college women’s team, the Cougars had two players make the first team. Wiehl earned captain status on the squad, after leading the Cougar team in scoring as a freshman at 16.9 points a game while pulling down 5.7 rebounds.
Also making the All-Nebraska first team was freshman Karli Seay. Seay, who set a school record 48 points in a game against Eastern Wyoming College in February, averaged 14.3 points and 4.9 assists a contest.
WNCC also placed four players, who are headed to the next level to play, on the honorable mention list. Jaleesa Avery, Melisa Kadic, Anastacia Johnson, and Giovanna Silva made the recognition team. Avery and Kadic are headed to the Division I level next year, Avery to Morehead State with Kadic to Idaho State. Johnson is headed to Missouri Western in St. Joseph’s while Silva is headed to Peru State in eastern Nebraska.
Also on the All-Nebraska team were several former Cougars or incoming Cougars.
Chadron State College has three players with ties to WNCC. On the women’s side, Kallie Feddersen, who graduated from WNCC in 2016, earned first team honors on the Division II side. Feddersen had an excellent season for the Eagles, averaging 15.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and four assists a game.
On the men’s side, Chadron State had two players that earned honorable mention honors. Jeremy Ruffin, who played for the Cougars in 2016-17 earned recognition as a junior. The other is Dru Kuxhausen. Kuxhausen, a Scottsbluff High graduate, played his freshman year at Chadron and then signed to return to WNCC for his sophomore season next year.
The complete JUCO teams include on the women’s side Seay and Wiehl from Western Nebraska, Sierra Bell and Mykala Baylor of Northeast Nebraska, and DeAsia Walker of Southeast.
Women players earning honorable mention honors include Avery, Johnson, Kadic, and Silva from WNCC; Payton Blanke and Quenshae Love of McCook; Aliyah Foote of North Platte; Nahatahaa Nacona of North Platte; Irene Sanz and Judit Valls of Northeast; and Sebit Gatluak and Erika Goracke of Southeast.
Honorable mention honors on the men’s JUCO team went to Dimitrijevic, Green and Harris of WNCC; Latrell Talley of Central-Columbus; D’Von Moore and Chinedu Okonkwo of McCook; Trajan Harris of North Platte; Allen Anderson and Melkisedek Moreaux of Northeast; and Jalen Wilkins-McCoy of Southeast.