Former Lady Saint Kim Ortega and current Lady Saint Fabiana Monte will be in Niceville, Florida at different stages in life.
Monte, the 5'9" guard from Diadema, Brazil, was one of 40 NJCAA basketball players from throughout the country who has been selected to participate in the NJCAA All-Star Weekend July 25-28 in Niceville, Florida.
Former Seward All-American and Saints Athletics Hall of Fame member Kim Ortega will be inducted into the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on the second night of the event, joining Alfreda Harris, Susan Summons, and Gwyn Young as the Class of 2013.
To make it even more special, Seward head coach Toby Wynn is the chair for the NJCAA WBCA All Star Game.
Ortega is one of just a handful of women’s basketball players to twice earn 1st Team NJCAA All-American honors. She achieved the feat following her 2001 freshman season and the Lady Saints 2002 National Championship year. In two seasons at Seward County, she led the Lady Saints to a 71-1 overall record and a perfect 32-0 record in Region VI play. During this time the Lady Saints won back-to-back Jayhawk West Conference titles as well as the program’s second Region VI Tournament championship in 2002. The Lady Saints captured the NJCAA Division I Women’s Championship in 2002 with a perfect 38-0 record and she earned Tournament MVP and Player of the Year honors. For her two-year career at Seward County, she averaged 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.7 steals per game.
Upon completion of her Seward career, Ortega excelled on the court at Texas Christian University, helping the Lady Horned Frogs to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2003 Conference USA Tournament Championship. After one season of professional basketball, she returned to Seward County as an assistant coach in 2005 where she coached for three seasons. After a coaching stint at UNLV, Ortega currently serves as a high school coach in the Las Vegas area.
Monte and Butler’s Ashlee Ivy were the only two players from the Jayhawk Conference to accept their bids to the event. Over 100 players from across NJCAA Division I, II, and III were nominated for the event and the group of 40 was chosen by a committee of coaches spread out between those three levels.
On July 27th and 28th, the 40 players will be broken down into teams and will compete in a number of games against one another with a heavy dose of four year coaches expected to be in attendance.
Monte was a key part of the Lady Saints 20 win season in 2012-2013, averaging 10 points and 3 rebounds per game for Seward. The freshman from Diadema, Sao Paulo, Brasil played in all 31 games for the gals in green, starting 19 as a rookie. An extremely gifted athlete, Monte was second on the team in steals with 47 and assists with 68 for the Lady Saints.
When asked about her feelings of getting chosen for the event Monte said “I was so surprised. I am very excited for the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the country.” She went on to say “I just want to thank my teammates and the other people here at Seward so much for helping me get here. They have been my family here when things have been tough on and off the court.”