BRISTOL, Tenn. – Prior to the start of the Conference Carolinas semifinals on Thursday evening, the league held a banquet to announce their all-conference performers and three King University women’s basketball players were recognized. Jalan Harper led this group, being named Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year. Amy Van Deventer and Whitney Mitchell also earned All-Conference Carolinas accolades for the Tornado.
Harper has had a stellar season for King University on the defensive side of the ball as the junior was selected as the Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year. The Knoxville, Tenn., native has locked down the opposition’s top scorer to lead a Tornado defense that ranks second in the league in steals with 10.2 per game. Individually, Harper averages 2.1 steals per game, a mark that ranks fourth in the conference and 17th in the Southeast Region. She is one of 19 players in the region to average at least 2.0 steals per game. Harper has registered at least two steals in a game 14 times this season and has at least three steals in the last four games for the Tornado. She also averages 4.8 rebounds per game, a mark that ranks third on the team and on the offensive end she is one of King’s leading scorers in a balanced attack, scoring 8.2 points per game.
Van Deventer garnered second team all-conference accolades for the first time in her career. Van Deventer was solid down low for the Tornado this season averaging 10.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. The redshirt sophomore leads King in blocks and ranks seventh in Conference Carolinas with 28 stuffs for an average of 1.0 per contest. Van Deventer has posted four double-doubles this season, all coming since the end of January, and the last one coming at #3 Limestone College in the regular season finale. The Cary, N.C., native posted a season-high 24 points at Converse College and again eclipsed the 20-point plateau with 22 points to go along with 11 rebounds against Lees-McRae. She posted her season-high for rebounds at Barton College, snaring 13 boards to go along with 18 points.
Mitchell was selected to the all-conference third team, also marking the first time in her career she has earned postseason recognition. Mitchell leads the Tornado in assists, and ranks 19th in the league with 62 helpers for an average of 2.1 assists per game. She has also played stellar defense, ranking 12th in the league with 47 takeaways for an average of 1.6 steals per game. Averaging 9.2 points per game, the junior is currently King’s third leading scorer. In the final week of the regular season she poured in a career-high 29 points, leading King to a fourth quarter come-from-behind victory at Lees-McRae College. The Oak Ridge, Tenn., native tallied 18 points in the final frame, going 11-for-11 from the free throw line.
The third seeded Tornado take on second seeded University of Mount Olive Thursday night at Limestone College in the Conference Carolinas Tournament semifinal. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.