News release date: March 1, 1997

Bradford Makes All-Conference Team
for Third Consecutive Season

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- For the third time in as many seasons, Whitman College forward Amanda Bradford has earned second-team all-conference honors in the Northwest Conference of Independent Colleges (NCIC).

Bradford, a 5-foot-10 junior, led the NCIC in scoring this season, averaging 18.8 points per game in 24 games. In 16 NCIC games, Bradford averaged 19.9 points per night.

She also averaged 8.1 rebounds, which ranked her seventh in the NCIC, and 3.6 steals, the second-highest total in the conference.

First-year Whitman coach Cathy Crosslin was dismayed that Bradford was left off the all-conference first team.

"Not only did Amanda deserve first-team recognition, I think it was clear she was the best player in the conference," Crosslin said. "All five players on the first team are from the top four teams in the league, the teams that made the playoffs. I really don't think each team's won-loss record should have any bearing on the all-conference selections, but I think that was the case here."

In Crosslin's first year, Whitman struggled through a long season, winning just four of 24 games. One of two returning starters and the team's only senior left the squad early in the season, and the Missionaries lost their starting post player midway through the year to a foreign-study program.

Two starters from a year ago transferred to other schools last fall, and a third starter took a leave of absence and did not return to campus.

"One of the players who left Whitman was Amanda's best friend," Crosslin said. "She also lost other key players from last year's supporting cast. She was forced to make some major adjustments and basically carry the team on her back until a few of the younger players developed later in the season."

That Bradford led the conference in scoring was amazing, noted Crosslin, because most opponents designed their defenses to stop her. "We were so young and inexperienced for most of the season. How hard was it for teams to focus on Amanda? She was double- and triple-teamed most of the time, and she still scored 18 and 19 points per game."

Crosslin said Bradford's success as an individual was a "tribute to the type of athlete and person she is. Regardless of what was happening with our won-loss record, Amanda worked hard every single day without fail, and her attitude remained positive. She is an absolute pleasure to coach, and I feel lucky to have started my coaching career while she was still here."

Bradford has led Whitman in scoring and steals in each of her three seasons. She has scored 1,137 points and has 198 steals. She also has a total of 570 rebounds and has led Whitman in rebounding in two of her three seasons.

Bradford will compete again this spring for the Whitman track & field team. She qualified for the NAIA national championships in the javelin in her first two track seasons, placing third as a freshman and second as a sophomore.

Bradford, an English major at Whitman, is a 1994 graduate of R.A. Long High School in Longview, Wash.

CONTACTS:

Cathy Crosslin, Whitman Women's Basketball, (509) 527-5261
Email Address: crosslcl@whitman.edu

Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, (509) 527-5902
Email Address: holden@whitman.edu