Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball coach Chad Gibney is hot on the recruiting trail and inked his first player for next year Kansas senior Taylor Joplin signed on to play for the Cougars.
Joplin, a 6-foot wing from Garden Plain High School in Wichita, was a two sport athlete participating in volleyball and basketball.
Joplin, who was also looking at Newman University, Bethel College, Kansas Wesleyan University, and Pratt Community College, is excited to becoming a Cougar.
“When I went on my visit at Western Nebraska, I was able to meet the girls on the basketball team and we got along really well,” she said. “I also believe that playing for Coach Gibney will be a great experience. Also, the support that the sports teams receive from the community in Scottsbluff, remind me of Garden Plain and the support that we get from the community.”
Gibney, who graduated from Wichita State University, knows all about high school basketball in Wichita. Gibney said she brings a lot of talent on and off the court to the program.
“We got ourselves a good one. We are excited to help Taylor develop her game and utilize her strengths as far as shooting the basketball and being a strong, smart player,” Gibney said. “She has high character and comes from a great family. She understands what it takes to win and be successful.”
Gibney said Joplin brings a lot of talent to the program.
“We are really excited to have Taylor,” he said. “She provides a lot of versatility for us. She can play inside and can play outside. She is a big-time shooter and brings a lot of toughness. She brings a high IQ of basketball and we are very fortunate to have Taylor on our roster next year.”
Joplin definitely brings plenty of basketball savvy to the Cougar team. Joplin was part of state tournament teams, where the volleyball team won state in Kansas her sophomore year and the basketball team made state also her sophomore season.
She also played club basketball for Next Level Eclipse, where she traveled to different states playing the sport she loves in basketball.
At Garden Plain, Joplin is averaging 14 points, six rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and 1.5 steals a game. She is hitting on 81 percent of her free throws for the Owls.
This season, the Garden Plain Owls are currently 9-0 on the season. In nine games this season, Joplin has scored double figures in seven of the games, including 20 points in a 60-45 win over Rose Hill and a 45-25 win over Remington. She made four treys in the Remington win.
For her career at Garden Plain, she is averaging 10.6 points and five rebounds a game. She has scored 838 points in four years and needs just over 160 points to hit the 1,000 career mark.
On the volleyball level, Joplin was a 3-year varsity player, racking up 158 kills this past fall with 65 blocks.
Joplin has earned plenty of honors, earning first team All-CPL conference her sophomore and junior year as well as 3A state honorable mention both seasons. She also earned second team CPL volleyball this year.
Joplin, who is undecided on a major said the season is going great so far, but they have some tough games coming up. She added that as the season is winding down, the realization of closing out her high career is drawing near.
“It’ll be sad to know that it’ll be my last high school game, playing with my teammates since grade school, but I will be excited knowing that I am getting closer to finally being able to play for WNCC,” she said.