Sophomore Keiona Mathews has quietly become the top scorer in the Western State Conference, North Division, and is the sixth-best scorer in the state, turning in 22.8 points per game.
Her accolades for the season don’t stop there as she recently broke a 25-year-old College of the Canyons record by scoring 45 points against Pierce College, breaking the record previously held by Tressie Millender, who scored 44 points against Allan Hancock in 1988.
When Mathews is not breaking records and/or leading the conference in scoring, she balances school and dedicates herself to extra workouts, striving to stay on top of her game both on the court and in the classroom.
On when she started to play basketball:
I started when I was 7 years old.
On choosing to play at COC:
I thought it was a better choice if I wasn’t going to attend a university right after high school. I decided there would be a better opportunity for me to transfer if I attended COC first.
On breaking the school record for most points in a game:
It was exciting. I didn’t know how many points I had when the game ended. I knew I had a lot, but not 45 points. It shows me that I need to keep working, stay determined and focused and maybe I can break more records at College of the Canyons.
On her best memory as a Cougar:
Beating Mt. SAC.
On whom she looks up to:
I definitely look up to Maya Moore and Kobe Bryant, because they let the game come to them. They don’t rush anything and they just play their game. They are smart players.
On the best thing about being a Cougar:
My teammates and coaches! They bring a lot of energy. They always have my back. They lift my spirit.
On this year’s squad:
I like this year’s team a lot. We get along well. We are a hard working team. We just need to continue to work hard and push forward.
On the sport she would be playing, if she wasn’t playing basketball:
Softball. Softball is my first sport, but as I started playing basketball I really liked it. But before that I played first base and shortstop.
On what is next for her:
I would like to go to attend a four-year school and continue my basketball career, while working toward my degree.
On her future career:
After my playing career, I definitely want to coach. I want to stay involved with sports and basketball.
On playing Ventura College again:
We need to play defense. We have to work together as a team. If we come together as a team and play hard it will be a good game. We need to fight for the whole 40-minutes. We can’t just play for 20 minutes. We need to have each other’s back, keep the tempo up and get the bench involved.
On being the top scorer in the conference:
It’s great. It makes me push even harder. It’s all that extra work I put in practice. It’s a good feeling, but it also makes me never want to stop and just keep grinding.