Grace's Strickland signs with Southern Wesleyan
It was only one school year and one basketball season, but Brooke Strickland left quite a legacy with Grace Christian's basketball program and vice-versa.
Strickland, who attended Grace Christian as a middle-schooler, then went to Chatham Central before transferring back to Grace as a senior, earned NCISAA (North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association) All-State and NACA (National Association of Christian Athletes) All-American honors while the Lady Crusaders had their best season in program history.
Now, Strickland has earned the opportunity to continue her basketball career at the college level. She signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and play at Southern Wesleyan University on Monday at Grace Christian.
"We sure will miss her in our program next year, but we know her parents, all the coaches and her teammates are really proud of her," said Grace Christian head coach Joel Murr.
Strickland, who played anywhere on the floor from point guard to a post player depending on what the Lady Crusaders needed most, tallied numerous quadruple-doubles this past season. Strickland, almost routinely, achieved the rarity via points, rebounds, steals and assists.
The Lady Crusaders went undefeated to win the Carolina Christian Conference season and tournament championships. Grace Christian went on to its first appearance in the NCHSAA 1A State Tournament final game and a 2-1 record at the NACA National Tournament in Dayton, Tenn. The Lady Crusaders finished 32-6 overall.
Basketball is part of why Strickland chose Southern Wesleyan, in Central, S.C., over a lot of offers from other schools.
"The academics there are awesome and I know, an am excited about going to a good, godly environment. Basketball is just a perk on top of all of it, because there's more than just basketball," Strickland said.
Strickland said she's improved, as a basketball player as well as off the court, more in the one season at Grace Christian than any other time.
"It's all because of my teammates and coaches," she said.
"Definitely playing with a godly group of girls has been amazing," she said.
Strickland is planning on studying kinesiology and exercise science.
"We are extremely excited to have Brooke join our Southern Wesleyan community and women's basketball program," said SWU head coach John Davis. "She is a scorer on the basketball floor. She can shoot the three, work off the dribble and see the floor well.
"Most importantly, we are getting a player who embodies our Christ-centered mission and is a young lady who is of strong character," Davis said.