Allen’s West shines in 3-on-3 showcase

Allen Community College sophomore Sarang West added another feather to her illustrious basketball season by earning an invitational to a national 3-on-3 tournament in Tennessee. The New York native remains undecided where she will play next year at a four-year school.

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Sports

May 3, 2024 - 3:21 PM

Sarang West capped her successful basketball season with Allen Community College by competing at a national 3-on-3 tournament in Knoxville, Tenn., last weekend. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

While she’s still uncertain where her college basketball path will lead, Allen Community College’s Sarang West has taken full advantage of her lone season with the Red Devils.

After helping lead Allen to a school record 22 wins and a trip to the Region VI semifinals in March, West got one last hurrah as an ACC representative.

West spent April 25-27 in Knoxville for the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame weekend, which included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament featuring 40 of the top junior college basketball players in the nation.

The New York native, who transferred to Allen for her sophomore year, was one of the 40 invitees, and the only player from NJCAA’s Division 2 invited to participate. 

“As far as I know, I’m the only player from Kansas to get to go,” she said. “It was an incredible experience. I got to meet a lot of really cool people, not just hall of famers but others on the juco scene as well.”

West is set to graduate Saturday from Allen and will return home next week after an eventful, and rewarding, year at ACC.

Allen Community College’s Sarang West, left, drives to the hoop while being guarded by Labette defender Nadia Correa Silva Monday.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

WEST was paired with two players from Texas for the 3-on-3 tournament, where they played well enough on the first day to qualify for the championship round a day later. There, the trio advanced to the semifinal round before they were eliminated.

“I liked it a lot,” she said. “It’s a type of tournament that lets everybody showcase their individual strengths. I got to shoot the ball a lot.

Unlike the traditional 5-on-5 basketball format, 3-on-3 is played in a half-court setting. 

After one team makes a basket, the opposing squad simply tosses the ball out beyond the 3-point line to set up their possession.

Speed is of the essence because teams are dealing with a 12-second shot clock as well.

“It’s really fast-paced, 1 or 2 passes and shoot,” West noted. “About the only thing I didn’t like about 3-on-3 is there wasn’t a lot of playmaking. It was almost all 1-on-1.”

And while West was more than happy to show off her 3-point shooting, the format negated one of her strengths, the ability to maneuver through the open court, drawing a defender and dishing to an open teammate for an even better shot.

“My shooting is definitely in the top two if not my biggest strength,” she explained. “But I’m big on playmaking. I want to get teammates involved. At the end of the day, I want to win. If I have to have a bad shooting night, but my teammates are getting the points, that’s completely fine by me. I’d much rather have team success than individual success.”

With West leading the way for the Red Devils, the 2023-24 season offered plenty of both.

West led Allen in scoring at 12.8 points per game and was Allen’s top 3-point threat, draining 44, eighth most in the conference. West shot nearly 40% from the field, 36% from 3-point range  and 79% from the free throw line. West led Allen with 2.0 steals per game and was ranked third with 2.1 assists per contest.

West’s work garnered her first-team All-Jayhawk Conference honors. She also was the Jayhawk Conference’s Newcomer of the Year.

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