BASKETBALL: Northwest Nazarene v Humboldt State

Avery Albrecht, shown during the 2019 Division II national tournament, was named the 2020 Great Northwest Athletic Conference player of the year. 

A former La Grande High School standout who has been making waves at the collegiate level was recently named the best player in her conference.

Avery Albrecht, a senior for the Northwest Nazarene University women’s basketball team, was tapped as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference player of the year last week after helping the Nighthawks to a 22-7 overall record and a berth in the NCAA Division II national tournament.

This season Albrecht, who has started in all 29 games for NNU, is averaging 15.2 points per game, which is third in the GNAC and leads the Nighthawks, who are the conference’s top-scoring team.

But as she was during her time at La Grande, the former three-time Greater Oregon League player of the year is doing much more than just scoring.

She leads her team in rebounding at 5.9 per game, and also has team bests in offensive rebounds (2.5), minutes per game (28.3), field goal percentage (.488) and 3-pointers made (38). She also has 54 steals and 52 assists, and during the season scored the 1,000th point of her collegiate career. 

 The 5-foot-9 senior saw limited action as a freshman, but became an important piece to the team as a sophomore and stepped out her junior year, started in 31 games. That season, she averaged 13.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game whole shooting 49% from the floor, 48% from 3-point range and 91% from the free-throw line on her way to a spot on the all-GNAC first team.

The Nighthawks earned their third-consecutive berth to the NCAA Division II tournament Sunday, and will begin play Friday against UC San Diego in a first-round game in Honolulu.

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