by Amanda Rogers
Janay Winston, a second-year sophomore starter for the Montgomery County Community College Mustangs women’s basketball team, will join the Eastern University Eagles NCAA Division III program in the Fall of 2011.
Winston was a key contributor for the Mustangs in the 2009-2010 season, ranking second on the team in points and rebounds with 251 and 170 respectively. This season she is already beginning to outperform her previous bests, averaging 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Last season, Winston earned Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (EPCC) All-Conference honors and Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association (PCAA) All-State honors for her outstanding performance on the court. She also excelled in the Mustangs softball program, making the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Region Second Team.
But Winston is not just a tremendous athlete. She performs equally as well in the classroom as she does in competition. In May 2010, Winston was named a Montgomery County Community College Scholar-Athlete of the Year, helping her basketball team earn the title of Academic Team of the Year. She also earned standing as an EPCC Academic All-American for carrying a full time academic load, while maintaining an exemplary GPA.
Winston is an Elementary Education major at the College and is excited to continue in her field at Eastern University, where she will major in Early Childhood Education.
“When I was looking into transferring to a four-year college, I contacted Eastern University to find out more about their Early Childhood Education program,” said Winston. “That’s also when I initiated contact with the basketball coach, Coach Davis.”
After that contact, Eastern University Eagles Head Coach Nate Davis scouted Winston in two games at Montgomery County Community College. Winston also had the chance to speak with Davis one-on-one and meet with her future Eagles teammates.
“Coach Davis seems like he really cares about all of his players and wants to get the best out of them,” commented Winston. “When I went to one of the team’s practices, I got a chance to meet the girls and they all seemed really nice.”
Her positive experience with the coach and the team, coupled with the College’s well-known bachelor’s degree program in Education, assured Winston that Eastern was the right fit for her and her first choice transfer school.
Davis says he and his team are excited to have Winston join the Eastern basketball program.
“[Winston] is a versatile, highly skilled player with experience at the college level. She embodies everything we look for in an athlete. She is a strong leader, with tremendous work ethic and is dedicated to becoming the best player she can be. I am really looking forward to working with her for the next couple years.”
Mustangs Head Coach Kelly Donohue is also excited for Winston.
“She played a huge role on our team these past two years. We are thrilled she has earned this opportunity and look forward to seeing her play at the next level.”
One of Coach Donohue’s goals for the Mustangs program is to help student-athletes transfer from Montgomery County Community College to four-year institutions, where the student-athletes can continue their basketball careers. Winston represents Donohue’s first graduating class since the basketball program’s inception in 2008.
The 2008-2009 season showcased Donohue’s team as an exhibition in the EPCC. Last year, in the team’s inaugural season in the conference, the Mustangs went 13-8 overall and placed second in the EPCC. This year the team is currently 10-3 overall and is poised to take the EPCC title in February. Coach Donohue is confident that current and future athletes from her program will continue to be recruited as transfers into NCAA programs.
Winston is honored to set an example for the team.
“I have enjoyed my time as a Mustang, and I’m excited for the rest of this season. I will definitely miss Montgomery County Community College, but I feel so blessed to have been accepted at Eastern University. I’m really looking forward to being an Eagle next year.”