By ROY ALLEN
• Seward assistant athletic director
Monday, the All-American Room was packed full of Seward County coaches, faculty, students, community members, and athletes as Lady Saints sophomore Fabiana Monte signed her National Letter of Intent to play at Arkansas Tech University for the next two seasons.
While Seward County has seen higher profile signings in recent years, the crowd was there more for the person signing the letter. Monte, who has become a fan favorite in the Greenhouse and around campus at Seward County, had hoards of friends and supporters behind her as she signed her National LOI.
Monte signed with NCAA Division II power Arkansas Tech in the middle of a solid start to the season for both herself personally and Seward County as a team. The Lady Saints are off to a 5-0 start and ranked 19th in the NJCAA top 20 thanks in large part to the sophomore guard from Diadema, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Monte is averaging 12.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game through five Seward County contests and is coming off arguably the best back-to-back performance of her Lady Saint career this weekend. Friday in a win over South Plains, Monte led the Lady Saints with 17 points and also tied a career high with seven rebounds as Seward pulled out a seven-point win over the Lady Texans. Saturday she was back at it again, scoring 16 points and pulling down six rebounds while nailing all three of her three-point attempts in a blowout win over Fort Carson.
Monte played in all 31 games as a freshman for Seward, starting 19 while averaging 10.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for Seward. She scored in double figures 16 times as a freshman including a stretch of nine straight games. She scored a career high 27 in a Jayhawk West Conference win over Pratt late in the season to earn herself Conference Player of the Week honors. She was an Honorable Mention All-Jayhawk West selection after her rookie season and participated in the NJCAA All-Star Weekend in Niceville, Florida last summer.
Monte will join an Arkansas Tech program who has asserted themselves as a power at the Division II level, winning four straight conference championships, two in the Great American Conference and two in the Gulf South Conference. The Golden Suns have appeared in three of the last four NCAA tournaments and have reached the Elite Eight twice in the same span. Arkansas Tech has played for the NCAA Division II title once in 1999 and has two National Championships under their belts at the NAIA level in 1992 and 1993.
Monte will be under the direction of former Seward assistant Dave Wilbers.