Atmore’s English finding success at Miles CollegePublished 5:00am Saturday, April 28, 2012
While two current Escambia County Blue Devils are soon to make the transition to the college level, one former Lady Blue Devil is already making a name for herself in women’s college basketball.
Atmore native Courtney English is nearing the end of her junior year at Miles College in Birmingham, but she recently completed her first season playing for the Golden Bears after transferring from Lurleen B. Wallace Community College last year.
English, a graduate of ECHS in 2009, signed with LBWCC her senior year and played for the Lady Saints for two seasons before transitioning to NCAA Division II basketball.
Making the move from junior college to the NCAA was a “transition” due to the talent of the players, English said.
“The competition is extremely difficult,” she said. “Moving to Division II from junior college was a big transition. The game itself doesn’t change, but the experience of the people you play is different. It has been a big learning process for me moving to the NCAA level.”
Adjusting to the talent level was easier for English with the help of her coaches led by Phillip Wallace Jr.
Learning from Wallace proved to be beneficial for English, as she even received recognition during the Lady Golden Bears’ season.
“Once I began to understand the system and learned from my coaches, I really got my game going,” English said. “I made Conference Newcomer of the Week three straight weeks and then after missing one week, I received the award again. It was a great feeling being able to have that kind of an impact.”
During the season, the Lady Golden Bears went 15-11 and received support from English in 28 games, which saw her start in 17 of them. She was the team’s second leading scorer and rebounder with 11.3 points per game and 8.7 rebounds.
At her team’s sports banquet earlier this week, she was named the 2011-12 Newcomer of the Year.
Looking back gives English something to be proud of, but thinking about next season has her wanting more.
“As a whole, it was an amazing experience,” English said. “Looking ahead to next season, I think our team could be even better now that I have this experience. We are losing 10 players, so we will be young, but our coaches have brought in some girls that are talented and have a lot of heart.”
The court is not her only level of success though. Academically, English is preparing to enter her senior year and she sports a solid grade point average.
A criminal justice major, English said she hopes to boost her GPA even higher by her graduation.
“In my senior year, I really want to boost my GPA from a 3.0 to a 3.5,” she said. “That kind of improvement will help me when I begin looking for a job after I graduate.”