It was with no hesitation that Mountain View High School senior Melody McLaughlin decided to sign with the Pima Community College women’s basketball team.
The Pima College team has made three consecutive trips to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, in the last four years.
Signing day took place on April 9 where Head Coach Todd Holthaus added 10 new freshmen to his Aztec squad. McLaughlin, along with Brittany West from Canyon Del Oro High School were the only Northwest locals to be signed.
McLaughlin played all four years on varsity at Mountain View under head coach Nikki Melchiori who said her aggressiveness and hard-work ethic will be a big contributor to the Aztec team.
“She is a competitor through and through and her hard-work ethic is apparent because she works hard in the off season as well,” said Melchiori. “She’s an unselfish player and is always trying to get everyone around her better. She’s all about the giving and not about herself.”
Her leadership on the court is not just apparent through her unselfish play, but also through her individual accomplishments. Last season, she was an All-Southern Arizona selection; broke the single-season record in steals and is also a career leader in steals at Mountain View. She averaged 14 points, 5.5 rebounds and four steals per game.
McLaughlin, along with teammate Lauren Reece, also led their team to two state tournament appearances.
With such an impressive basketball resume it’s no wonder that McLaughlin caught Holthaus’ eye.
“She’s tough and she’ll take on the best player if needed,” said Holthaus. “She’s just an all around really good player.”
Having a game winning mentality, McLaughlin is looking forward to playing at a more competitive level. What drew her most to playing at Pima was that it was in town and because of Holthaus’ reputation as a coach.
“One main reason was Todd, for sure. I have never heard a negative thing about him,” said McLaughlin. “Also, the players. I think we’re all going to work well together.”
Open gyms will continue throughout the summer and until preseason hits.