OC’s O’Steen honored as NCCAA Central Region player of the year

OC senior center Katy O'Steen has been named as the NCCAA Central Region player of the year.
OC senior center Katy O'Steen has been named as the NCCAA Central Region player of the year.

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 3, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian center Katy O’Steen has been named as the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region women’s basketball player of the year in voting by region coaches.

O’Steen, a 6-foot-1 senior from Durant, Okla., is the first OC player to win a player of the year award since 2007, when Rachel Martin received the Sooner Athletic Conference’s top honor. O’Steen received the regional honor during OC’s first season as a member of the NCCAA.

Besides O’Steen and Martin, only four other OC players (Julie Ross in 1985, Pam Kelly in 1986 and 1987, Kim Golden in 1991 and April Clowdus in 1993) have been named as a player of the year, all of those when OC was a member of the SAC.

O’Steen finished the regular season averaging 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 82.0 percent from the free-throw line. She’s played a key role in leading the Lady Eagles to a 16-11 record entering the NCCAA Central Region tournament, which will start Thursday in Bartlesville.

“During her four years here, Katy has developed and grown as a player as much or more than any player we’ve ever had,” OC coach Stephanie Findley said. “That’s a tribute to the hard work she has put in. She is one of the hardest workers we’ve ever had, in season and out of season.

“She always gives great effort in everything she does and she is one of the most coachable players ever, always wanting to improve and eager to learn. I'm so excited for her to receive this honor. It's not only a reflection of what she has earned but also what our team has earned in helping her get to this point. She has been an exemplary leader as a team captain this year as well, one of our best ever.”

With 1,336 points, O’Steen ranks 17th on the OC career scoring list, four points shy of tying No. 16 Angie Cook (1986-1990) and 12 shy of tying No. 15 Jan Ross (1982-1986).

This season, O’Steen ranks third in the NCCAA Central Region in scoring, fifth in field-goal percentage, and fifth in free-throw percentage. She was named as the Heartland Conference player of the week twice earlier this season and received NCCAA student-athlete of the week honors in late January.

The NCCAA Central Region includes 14 NCCAA-member schools in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Arkansas, although not all of those schools sponsor women’s basketball teams.

“I appreciate the NCCAA coaches' willingness to honor a newcomer with such a high honor,” Findley said. “It shows what a class organization the NCCAA is and the commitment it has to honoring high character and hard work.”

Joining O’Steen on the all-region team were Kourtni Williams of Mid-America Christian, Nichole Tate of Oklahoma Wesleyan, Oumoul Thiam of Southern Nazarene, Taylor Torres of Colorado Christian, Ciara Thomas of Southwestern Christian, Keshia Collins of McMurry (Texas), Aminata Fall of Southern Nazarene, Megan Jones of Oklahoma Wesleyan, Alyssa Drake of Central Baptist (Ark.) and Annie Kassongo of Southern Nazarene.

Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Mark Molden was named as the region’s coach of the year.