When Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball players Allysah Boothe and Andrijana Reljic arrived on campus last August little did they know they would be teammates for another two years after both inked with Division I Longwood University in Virginia.
The two Cougar sophomores said it is a thrill to continue playing at the next level.
“To be honest, I never saw myself playing DI basketball, but I just felt like it was a good opportunity for me,” Boothe, the 5-foot-5 guard, said. “This was the point of me going to JUCO was find a good school for me and then go where I could be a good fit.”
Both players said picking Longwood was the right choice for them.
“I just felt like it was a great fit for me,” she said. “I know basketball-wise I can go in and make an impact in the program. They are rebuilding the team and as a transfer I want to make an impact on the program. It is a good fit for me.”
For the 6-foot-3 Reljic who came to the United States from Serbia to play basketball, said she picked Longwood because of basketball and academics.
“I am going to Longwood University in Virginia and I choose the school because of the coaches and the people there, and the academics,” she said. “It is very good and everything worked out for me there. It was the best option for me.”
The two players played just one year at WNCC after transferring in. Boothe played one year at Lincoln College while Reljic played at Northwest Florida State College.
Reljic’s journey to WNCC was an interesting one since she knew about WNCC from the national tournament in 2018.
“First year I was at Northwest Florida and our team was in the same hotel as Western Nebraska and I remember Eva and M and coach asking about the other Florida team,” Reljic said. “It was funny. Then after when I decided not to stay at Northwest Florida, my assistant coach said do you remember that team at the hotel, they want you to go there. I was like it sounds good. Then I talked to coach and I came here and it was a good decision. I don’t regret it.”
In her one season at WNCC, Reljic averaged 3.4 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Reljic shot 53.6 percent from the field and was a 60 percent free throw shooter.
Boothe had a good season at WNCC, averaging 7.9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists a game. Boothe shot 38 percent from the field, but it was her free throw shooting that was deadly, making 96.4 percent of her charity tosses. Boothe missed just two of 56 attempts from the free throw line a year ago.
With Boothe and Reljic being teammates for one year and now going on to the same Division I school, Boothe said that will be a plus as they head to the next level.
“I think that helps a lot [going to a school with someone you know],” Boothe said. “We probably will be with each other a lot because of basketball. I think that helps with comfortability and I think we will both be successful there.”
Boothe said she had an enjoyable season at WNCC.
“I felt like everybody here wanted us to be successful on and off the court,” she said. “I think that helped a lot.”
All four sophomores from last year’s Region IX championship team are signed to continue playing. Boothe said that shows the quality of the basketball program at WNCC.
“I think it goes to show that they have a good program here and really wants us to be successful,” Boothe said. “I feel like from the professors to the coaches, they push everyone and expect everyone to be as great as they can.”