Thursday, May 16, 2013

KCKCC cager Jherica Montgomery signs with Graceland


Rich Harrop has turned to Kansas City Kansas Community College to add size and rebounding to his Graceland University basketball team by signing 6-1 Lady Blue Devil forward Jherica Montgomery.

“Not only will she give us size and rebounding, she has the quickness and ability to run the floor that will enable us to press defensively and fast break offensively,” said Harrop, who said Montgomery will give the Yellowjackets a much-needed inside presence.

Located in Lamoni just inside the Iowa border, Montgomery said selecting Graceland was an easy decision.

“It’s close to home and I liked it a whole lot,” she said.

A graduate of Wichita Southeast, Montgomery played sparingly as a freshman, averaging 2.1 points and 2.4 rebounds.

As a sophomore, she averaged 4.5 points and 5.2 rebounds but made a quantum leap at the end of the season, averaging 13.0 points and 10 rebounds in her final four games including career highs of 24 points and 15 rebounds in the Region VI playoffs at Hesston.

“Her best basketball is yet to come and will dominate in that conference,” said KCKCC Coach Valerie Stambersky.

Graceland will be in its third full season under Harrop..A former star multi-sport athlete at Graceland, Harrop coached boys basketball at Lamoni High School for 15 years and the Graceland men’s team for 25 years before retiring in 2005.

He came out of retirement to be women’s assistant in 2010, took over as head coach in January of 2011 and in his first season as head coach, took Graceland to the finals of the Heart of America Conference tournament for the first time in history.

PHOTO: With her mother, Petra Arnold, and her future coach, Rich Harrop, looking on, Kansas City Kansas Community College sophomore forward signs to continue her basketball future with Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)