||Last Updated: Jan 7, 2015 - 12:56:47 PM
It’s been a while, but a College of the Redwoods’ women’s basketball player will finally don a Lumberjack uniform again.
CR leading scorer and team captain Jain Tuey has signed a letter of intent to play at Humboldt State next season, becoming the first Redwoods women’s basketball player to commit to HSU since Marissa McConnell, a Eureka High graduate who played at CR in the 1993-94 and ’94-95 seasons, and played for HSU in ’98-99.
Tuey, however, is the first women’s basketball player from CR to sign a Conference Letter of Intent to play at HSU.
“It’s just pretty exciting,” said Tuey, who led the Golden Valley Conference in scoring this season at 18.1 points per game. “It’s just a rewarding feeling and it definitely lets me know I made the right decision to come back to CR.”
Tuey, who graduated from Fortuna High in 2008, went to Shasta Junior College out of high school, where she was an All-GVC honorable mention in the 2008-09 season.
Then, suddenly, tragedy struck the Tuey family as one of her two older brothers, Jubal Tuey, was a passenger killed in a drunk-driving incident back in June of 2009.
Jain Tuey decided to return home to be closer to family, and took some time off from the game of basketball.
“I didn’t know what my path was at the time,” Tuey said. “I took a couple years off and I really think it was the best thing I could have done. Then, this past year, coach (Doug) Oliveira kept calling me and asking me to come back. I thought about it, and it just seemed right for me to come back.”
Tuey joined forces with other recent Fortuna graduates, Lili Herrera and Allie Wipf, and the trio led the Corsairs — who played the majority of the season with just six players on the roster — to one of their most successful seasons in school history this year.
“I couldn’t be more happy for her,” said Oliveira, who, in his second season as head coach at CR, led the Corsairs to a 15-win turnaround from the year before, the largest since 1985 when CR won 16 more games than it did the previous season. “Jain is just a natural leader and her work ethic is second to none. I’m certainly proud of her and what she was able to accomplish.”
Tuey finished the year as the No. 9 ranked scorer in the state among sophomores and the Corsairs finished just one win away from their first GVC title since 1981 (31 years).
CR (16-9) made the postseason for the first time since 2002, and finished with an overall record above .500 for the first time since 1988.
“Some days I’ll be driving down the road and I’ll just get goose bumps thinking about how far we made it with only six players,” Tuey said. “Knowing all the hard work we put in and that it was just us really makes it special.”
Tuey made a team-high 61 3-pointers this season, shooting at 37 percent, and averaged 6.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
She will be joining an HSU team which has enjoyed tremendous success under head coach Jodie Gleason, who will be entering her ninth season at the helm next fall. HSU finished second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association last season at 15-7 in conference and 19-8 overall.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play at HSU,” Tuey said. “But I never thought it would actually happen. I’m just super excited.”
Tuey plans to major in math and follow her playing career with one in teaching.
“I’d like to teach at the high school level,” she said. “Maybe algebra or something like that.”
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