By ROY ALLEN
Seward assistant athletic director
Just over 11 years after her outstanding career on the hardwood at Seward County was completed, former Lady Saint Kim Ortega has been inducted into the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. She joined legendary coaches Alfreda Harris of Roxbury CC, Susan Summons of Miami Dade College, and Gwyn Young of Copiah Lincoln CC as the Class of 2013 in a ceremony in Niceville, Florida last week.
Ortega is one of just a handful of women’s basketball players to twice earn 1st Team NJCAA All-American honors. She achieved the feat following her 2001 freshman season and the Lady Saints 2002 National Championship year. In two seasons at Seward County, she led the Lady Saints to a 71-1 overall record and a perfect 32-0 record in Region VI play. During this time the Lady Saints won back-to-back Jayhawk West Conference titles as well as the program’s second Region VI Tournament championship in 2002. The Lady Saints captured the NJCAA Division I Women’s National Championship in 2002 with a perfect 38-0 record and she earned Tournament MVP and NJCAA Player of the Year honors. For her two-year career at Seward County, she averaged 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.7 steals per game.
Upon completion of her Seward career, Ortega excelled on the court at Texas Christian University, helping the Lady Horned Frogs to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2003 Conference USA Tournament Championship. After one season of professional basketball, she returned to Seward County as an assistant coach in 2005 where she coached for three seasons. Ortega next had a coaching stint at UNLV and currently serves as a high school coach in the Las Vegas area.
Ortega is the first Seward County player to be named to the NJCAA Hall of Fame in any sport. She joins three Seward coaches, Galen McSpadden (Baseball), Jim Littell (Women’s Basketball), and Pat Stangle (Volleyball) who have each been inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in their respective sports.