CMU Women's Basketball Signs Two Junior College Transfers
FAYETTE, MO - The Central Methodist women's basketball team has added two players from Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) for the 2013-14 season, coach James Arnold announced Monday.
Burgandie Lewis, a 5'10 forward, and Erika McKenzie, a 5'8 guard, become the ninth and 10th players to join the 2013 Signing Class. Both players spent the previous two seasons at Fort Scott and have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Last season for Fort Scott, Lewis averaged a double-double with 11.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest. Lewis led the Lady Greyhounds in field goal percentage, shooting better than 45 percent from the floor. For her efforts, Lewis was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Honorable Mention All-Region team.
Lewis is the all-time leader in rebounds for Fort Scott with 503 boards in two seasons.
"Burgandie is extremely athletic, a great rebounder, and has an underrated offensive game," Arnold said. "To average a double-double in the Jayhawk Conference, you have to be athletic and tough."
Lewis played for Leavenworth High School (Kan.) before signing with Fort Scott where she averaged 9.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game during her senior season. She was voted the MVP of the Pschonne Stepps Senior Game and was an All-Leavenworth County honorable mention pick during the campaign.
Lewis played for the 365 Sports Organization in Italy where her team placed first in the Italian Cup. She led the team in scoring and won the MVP award.
Lewis has also played AAU basketball for the Fort Leavenworth Blue Jays.
"'Burg' runs like a gazelle and has a giant wingspan," Arnold commented. "She has the chance to be one of the best defenders and rebounders in our league."
Last season for Fort Scott, McKenzie tied Lewis for the team lead in scoring average at 11.1 points per game. McKenzie also averaged 4.8 rebounds per game and dished out 63 assists and picked up 43 steals.
"Erika adds another quality, experienced, guard to our roster," Arnold said. "She has played a ton in one of the toughest leagues in the country and held her own against some high level opponents. Erika has good length, is a nice athlete, and has a high basketball I.Q. She'll for sure push some of our other guards for playing time, and I think her best basketball may be in front of her."
McKenzie attended Cypress Lake High School (Fla.) before signing with Fort Scott. In her senior season, she averaged 13 points, seven rebounds boards, four assists and two steals per outing. She was a News-Press first team selection her senior year and Lee County Athletic Conference first team choice her junior campaign. McKenzie helped lead Cypress Lake to three district championships.
McKenzie has also played AAU basketball for the Gulf Coast Eagles.
"We've signed some really good players and some quality student-athletes," Arnold remarked about the 2013 signing class to date. "Coming off a 25-win season and our first national tourney berth, we know we have to improve, create competition, and build depth to take the next step as a program. The coaches have worked very hard to bring in and stockpile a ton of talent, and I'm pumped about watching the competition unfold in the fall."
Central Methodist finished the 2012-13 season 25-8, its best campaign in 13 years. The Eagles are coming off their first appearance in the NAIA Division I National Championship.