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Cleeton Named WBCA All-American

Mar 13, 2019

Cleeton drives to the basket with defenders on either side
#5 Kelsie Cleeton

WBCA logo

College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcat basketball is pleased to announce senior guard Kelsie Cleeton has been named as a WBCA All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

The WBCA annually presents a Player of the Year award and names only ten members to the Coaches’ All-America team in each division (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA, two-year college and high school). The awardees are selected by a committee of WBCA member coaches in each division.

“The 10 members of the 2019 WBCA NAIA Coaches’ All-America Team are well deserving of this recognition, and the WBCA congratulates them for their accomplishments this season,” said Danielle Donehew, executive director of the WBCA. “These young women have worked to elevate themselves and their teams to an elite level and through their exceptional talents on the basketball court, they have lifted the women’s game.”

Cleeton, who hails from Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo.  has been an integral component of the Lady Bobcat squad since she set foot on the court her freshman season. Over the years, she has received a plethora of awards for her performance. During the 2018-19 season, Cleeton gathered 19 double-doubles, three triple doubles, and one quadruple double.  She received multiple A.I.I. and NCCAA Player of the Week honors and was named NAIA DII Player of the Week to close out the regular season.   She was named A.I.I. Player of the Year and A.I.I. Tournament Most Outstanding Player for the second consecutive year, as well as Defensive Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.  Cleeton closed out the season ranked NAIA DII No. 2 in total steals (111) and total rebounds (401); No. 3 in total rebounds per game (11.457), assists per game (5.857), and total assists (205); No. 4 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.106); and No. 5 in steals per game (3.171). 

Cleeton broke four Lady Bobcat All-Time records: Career Rebound Leader with 1,320 to surpass a record of 1,134 held since 1991; Career Assists Leader with 542 to break the record of 469 set in 2015; Single Season Assist Leader with 205 to top the previous record of 162 set in 1999-2000; and Career Rebounding Average with 9.9, to break the record set in 2005 at 9.25.   She also tied the record for most steals in a game (12) set in 1998-99 and most assists in a game (13) set in 1997-98.

A dynamic player on the court, Cleeton has engaged and entertained fans with her all-around abilities.  She can score inside and out, and she has an incredible knack for being in the right place at the right time to pull down rebounds and snag steals.  Her unselfishness has also resulted in dishing the ball to her teammates at record-breaking rates, allowing them to score and take the Lady Cats all the way to the national championship level.

“I am incredibly proud of Kelsie for her honor of being named a WBCA All-American for the second consecutive year,” stated Becky Mullis, Lady Bobcat head coach.  “She is deserving of being recognized as one of the top ten players in both NAIA Division I and II.  This award is a fitting end to her spectacular career at College of the Ozarks. “