Grace's Strickland and Murr earn All-American honors

Apr. 21, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Anna Murr and Brooke Strickland led Grace Christian to its best girls basketball season in school history and earned conference and state honors for their efforts.

Murr and Strickland also earned national accolades as the two Lady Crusaders were named All-Americans by the National Association of Christian Athletes for 2013. Murr, a junior shooting guard who already has the Crusader all-time scoring record, and Strickland, a versatile guard who had numerous triple- and quadruple-doubles throughout the season, are the seventh and eighth Grace Christian basketball players to earn NACA All-American honors.

Murr, now a three-time All-American honoree and two-time Carolina Christian Conference Player of the Year, averaged 23 points per game as the Lady Crusaders went undefeated through the CCC season, went 30-4 overall and reached the NCISAA 1A State Tournament final for the first time. Trinity Christian of Fayetteville beat Grace Christian 63-59 in the championship game to repeat as state champs.

Strickland, a senior who transferred from Chatham Central to Grace Christian, averaged 21 points per game. She had multiple games in which she hit double figures in assists, rebounds and steals for the Lady Crusaders.

"I am very thankful to God and to my parents for sending me here this year," Strickland said. "It has been a wonderful experience both in the classroom and in basketball. I would have never had the opportunity to accomplish what I have or been able to win an award such as this if I had not come to Grace Christian."

"I owe a lot to my teachers, teammates and coaches," Strickland said.

Murr shared credit for the individual award as well.

"An award like this should never be an individual thing. I want to give all the credit for an honor such as this to the Lord and then to the people He has surrounded me with," said Murr.

"It is a rare thing to be able to coach two great players at the same time," said Grace Christian head coach Joel Murr. "Brooke and Anna are two great players. This was a special year and their accomplishments will be remembered for a long time to come."

Murr, Strickland and freshman point guard Alexis Ross earned All-Carolina Christian Conference honors. Murr surpassed the 2,000-point mark in her career during the regular season. Murr and Strickland were NCISAA All-State players.

"Grace Christian School is very proud of these student-athletes and what they have accomplished, not just in the gymnasium, but also in the classroom," said Grace Christian headmaster Bill Carver.

"They are both well-rounded kids who have represented our school in a positive way."