For the first time since the somewhat-mythical era of the late coach Evelyn Blalock, Kilgore College women’s basketball has a first-team NJCAA All-American.
Jade Thurmon, a sophomore guard from Ferris who was recently named the conference’s most valuable player, was nothing short of spectacular.
She was the nation’s leading scorer, at 23.3 points per game, scored more points than any other junior college player in the country (745), led the nation in minutes per game (just under 35), and in free throws, where she was 159-of-293. She was third in the nation in both steals (88) and assists (151).
Maybe most importantly, Thurmon helped get coach Anna Nimz's Lady Rangers back to the Region XIV Conference women’s title game for the second straight year, although they lost to San Jacinto. Thurmon scored 37 points in defeat.
KC went 21-11, including topping longtime stumbling block Trinity Valley in the conference tournament.
Thurmon’s KC career was just fantastic overall.
As a freshman, she was an all-region and all-conference selection, and won the award for co-freshman of the year.
It was the first time a Lady Ranger was named first-team All-American since the 1995-96 season, when Jackie Hodnett earned the honor. Hodnett was named to the KC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017, joining Blalock, who was a posthumous honoree in
Thurmon becomes the eighth All-American in Lady Rangers history, joining Hodnett, Pam Hudson (1987-88), Cheron Wells (1988-89), Regina Wright (1990-91), Tina Malone (1991-92), ShaRhonda Reynolds (1992-93), and Saudia Roundree (1993-94).