December 9, 2013

Tubbs remains a Crusader

Kevin McCarthy

Some prospects go with who and what will win signing day's bragging rights knowing the likelihood of remaining with that certain coach and school will be tenuous. Then a year later, it's back home to attend a local community college with the recruiting process beginning anew and the youngster now hopefully wiser. Lexi Tubbs knew who wanted her the most and that clinched her decision.

photo of Lexi Tubbs

The 5-foot-11 Modesto Christian High/Stanco Stampede backcourter had communications with quite the number of schools ranging from Gonzaga, Pacific, Pepperdine, USF, Princeton and Irvine to Stanislaus State. It wasn't hard to see why as the then-junior Crusader displayed 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3,0 steals per game average alongside a 4.0 grade point average and demonstrated civic leadership in being the student body vice president.

But was interest really such? Was it borne out by consistent contact?

The answer was definitely yes by Northwest Nazarene University Coach Ryan Bragdon who has just taken over the position after assisting at Illinois State, Ohio and Central Michigan.

So why was Tubbs' choice the school and Crusader basketball program in Nampa, Idaho?

“I met some amazing people [on her recruiting visit],” she recalled. “The school reminded me a lot of Modesto Christian and the team had a bonded family feel.”

Tubbs is also one of those who gets it: “This is an opportunity for an education to get a better job.”

Her decision means she will be joining Kayla Schumann (Turlock High) and also Cierra White (Beyer High) at Northwest Nazarene, with the latter also formerly playing for the Stanco Stampede. The Crusaders are currently ranked No. 18 in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association NCAA DII Top 25 and play in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

About the beauty and the beast of the recruiting grind, Tubbs offered, “I saw a lot of girls go through the process and it scared me. They were confident girls who started beating themselves up. I told myself to be patient.”

Now the pressure is off and there no opening for self doubt. Tubbs knows her future home and, as she put it, is thankful that her college application process will be much more simplified than most.

Although she will be positioned at the point for Modesto Christian this season due to a teammate's injury, Tubbs will be primarily a shooting guard in college. “Shooting the three is my best skill and this year I've added mid-range to my offense and my ballhandling has gotten a lot better.”

The product of two former college basketball players, she remembered the benefits but also some of the difficulties from being parented by those well-versed in hoops.

“My parents were straight with me after games, pointing out I should have done this or that. Sometimes I hated it but it was important.” She also looked on the bright side as her father's Stanco Stampede connection “provided me gym access 24/7.”

Tubbs also successfully participated in both volleyball and track -- she is the reigning Trans Valley League 100 meter dash and 100 hurdles champion -- but hoops always came first. “I would shut down playing the other sports.”

She also offered, “I'm not the stereotype of a basketball player. I'm a little different, super frilly and like the valley girl stereotype.”

But nonetheless someone who won't think twice about burying the trey on you if given too much space.