SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Mitchell College guard Jessica Shepherd was one of 23 seniors selected by the New England Women's Basketball Association to participate in the 2017 NEWBA Senior All-Star Classic.
The game will take place on Saturday, March 25 at Mount Holyoke College's Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium at 2 p.m. Players from around the region were nominated for the honor by their coaches, and a vote of all coaches determined the selections.
Shepherd, the only player who will be representing the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), becomes just the second Mitchell player to ever be selected for the game. Kate Mulloy participated in the event in 2014 after two seasons with the Mariners.
"This is a great honor to highlight Jess's four-year career," said head coach MaryLynn Skarzenski. "I couldn't be more proud of all that she has accomplished. For her to put on her uniform one more time—with some of the best seniors in New England—is a fitting culmination of her career."
An all-conference third team selection in her final season, Shepherd averaged a career-high 13.7 points per game to lead the Mariners in scoring. In conference play she netted 15.2 points per contest—ninth-highest in the league—and also ranked among the top 10 in free throw percentage (.778), three-point field goal percentage (.371), three-point field goals (39), field goals (93) and blocks (14).
Shepherd capped a four-year career by becoming just the third women's basketball player in the school's Division III history to record 1,000 points. She cracked that milestone in a win over Newbury College on February 14 and finished with 1,040 for her career. She also became the program's all-time three-point field goal leader with 174 in 95 career games.
Mitchell qualified for the NECC Championship in each of Shepherd's four seasons, advancing as far as the semifinals in 2016, 2015 and 2014. The Mariners posted a record of 57-47 (53-19 NECC) during her career.
The following players were selected to participate in this year's NEWBA Senior All-Star Classic:
Ava Adamopoulos, Springfield
Emily Anderson, Western New England
Alicia Brown, Univ. of New England
Allie Coppola, Bates
Stephanie D'Annolfo, Keene State
Emily Dobson, Western Connecticut State
Priscilla Dunphy, WPI
Chandler Guerrette, Husson
Paris Hodges, Brandeis
Kayla Hotaling, MCLA
Liana Illutzi, MIT
Maria Jackson, Brandeis
Heather LeBlanc, Norwich
Jennie Lindland, Bridgewater State
Rachel McCarron, UMass Dartmouth
Giovanna Pickering, Babson
Carlee Putnam, Saint Joseph
Bridget Quilty, Roger Williams
Alycia Rackliffe, Framingham State
Taylor Russell, Babson
Jessica Shepherd, Mitchell
Jill Valley, Westfield State
Paige Young, Western New England