Ava Pointer has continued her basketball career at East Texas Baptist University.
The Iola High School graduate is a freshman on the women's developmental team, whose roster has 12. The team played six games in the fall and four in January, according to the online schedule, and the last game is scheduled for Tuesday.
Pointer was placed on the developmental team because she said, "I didn't decide I wanted to play until right before I moved in."
A teammate talked her into pursuing college basketball. "I absolutely love it now," she said.
She has started at point guard every game.
"She has been a really good vocal leader," said Kim Martinez, ETBU women's basketball assistant coach and head developmental coach. "She's taken that role and embraced it really well. She is good at distributing the ball when her teammates are open."
The team runs a fast-paced offense, and Pointer said she has been adjusting to the speed of the game now that a shot clock is in effect.
"You're used to being able to stall for the last two, three minutes," she said about high school play.
The pace has required her to "recognize what's happening a lot faster," she said. "My IQ side of the basketball has shown the most improvement."
She has averaged 12 to 17 points in the home games and is one of the squad's leading scorers, Martinez said. She is able to score from inside and the perimeter and "can facilitate the ball really well," the coach said, noting that her ball handling has improved significantly.
The team plays a zone defense, and Pointer positions at the top of the key. The coach described her as a "gnat" defensively because of her ability to create havoc.
"She's always there trying to get the ball. She's in the right place at the right time most times," she said.
Richards resident Kenley Strange started at shortstop in three of Blinn College's first four games. The sophomore had two runs batted in and a .917 fielding percentage in 12 chances, third most on the team.
Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at email@example.com.