By Ron Guild
Wave Sports Editor
Former Banning High School standout Stephanie Lopez, the nation’s fourth-leading JC scorer at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore. last season, has signed to play basketball at Cal State East Bay in Hayward.
The 5-foot-8 guard broke school records for points and steals in her two years at Blue Mountain.
As a freshman, she averaged a team-high 19.1 points, 4.6 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
This past season, she led the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College and ranked fourth nationally at 24.9 points per game. She also led the team in rebounds at 6.8, assists at 4.4 and steals at 3.3.
Blue Mountain made its first conference tournament appearance in school history.
With 1,172 points, she is the only player from that school to top the 1,000-point mark career-wise.
“Stephanie is a very important signee for our program, East Bay coach Suzy Barcomb said. “She is a tremendous point guard — tough-minded, sees the floor well, gets the ball moving up the floor, and knows how to score. We feel this is another big step in building our program towards a championship level.”
Blue Mountain coach Christy Martin heaped praise on Lopez, as well.
“Stephanie is the most complete basketball player I have ever coached,” she said. “She has great lateral speed and anticipation defensively. She has an explosive first step and an uncanny ability to change speed and direction. Steph was the epitome of a team player at BMCC, and her ability to create for her teammates will undoubtedly make everyone around her better.”
At Banning, the Wilmington native was a three-time All-City and all-area first-team choice.
Cal State East Bay competes in the NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association, which also includes Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A.