Hello, hello. If you’re reading this, then you have successfully made it through to Friday. Another week is in the books. Congrats to you for that accomplishment. And now that you’re here, why not stay a little while, and read about one of the greatest college hoopers of all time?
The Kelsey Plum Special
This week’s flashback Friday piece doesn’t have a specific moment that it will be based upon. This is the Kelsey Plum special. She scored over 3,300 points during her days at the University of Washington. No woman has scored more points in a college career than her. And the only one in NCAA history to outscore Plum would be Pete Maravich. And he is in a class of his own.
Plum set countless records during her four years as a Husky, and blazed a trail to the WNBA along the way. She hasn’t been as dominant there, but before too long, she could well be a champ. She was the #1 pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft by the San Antonio Stars. So, without further ado, let’s talk about Kelsey Plum.
All She Did Was Score
Do you know who holds the record for most points in a season in NCAA history? Plum, of course. KP poured in over 1,100 points during her senior season, while dropping a PAC-12 record of 57 points during a game against the University of Utah. She did all of this while playing more than 38 minutes per night over the course of the season.
You know a player is destined for greatness when they average better than 20 points per game during their freshman season. Plum upped it to 23 a game as a sophomore and then averaged 26 as a junior. As a senior, the bar was set very high for her. And of course, Plum managed to put up a season for the ages, one that nobody was going to ever forget.
She averaged 32 points per game, while making 53% of her shots. She shot 43% from three, while making a career-best 115 of them too. A couple more made foul shots, and she’d have had a 50-40-90 season. Not too shabby, huh?
Plum Broke Plenty of Records
For 33 years, the NCAA free throw record stayed the same. And then, Plum broke it by sinking 912 foul shots during her college career. She was not only the PAC-12 player of the year in 2017, but also the espnW and the AP Player of the Year too. Every trophy that could be awarded (except for the championship) was handed over to Plum. She was special.
Plum became the first WBCA-All-American in Washington’s history when she picked up that accolade following her junior season. The Poway, California native was seemingly unstoppable, and no player in all of division-I was able to check her. You don’t just average 32 points per game at the college level. You’ve got to be an incredible talent in order to pull that off.
Plum’s family history is rich in college athletics, but she is the only one to play basketball. Her sisters Kaitlyn and Lauren both played college volleyball, one at UC Davis and the other at Oregon. Her mom Katie played volleyball at UC Davis as well, while her father Jim was a two-sport athlete (football and baseball) at San Diego State.
Plum has been dominating opponents on the hardwood for a long time. And her four years at Washington allowed her the opportunity to get into the spotlight, and stay there on the nightly. She averaged four rebounds, four assists and better than a steal per game during her four-year career. She was more than just a scorer out there.
The Return Is Imminent
Kelsey Plum tore her Achilles before the start of the 2020 WNBA season, rendering her physically limited. She did not play at all, of course. She’ll return to join A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces for the 2021 year. With the draft just taking place, the team was able to improve. They drafted Iliana Rupert at #12. She’s a 6’4 center that can provide them interior size.
Destiny Slocum and Kionna Jeter are also joining the team. The two guards will provide depth, and a little relief for Plum perhaps, as she continues her rehab.
Look for Plum to have a breakout season, as she comes back from the Achilles injury. Big things are ahead, as she looks to remind folks of how dangerous she can be on the basketball court.
Thanks For Reading
Well, you’ve made it to the end! Thank you for reading. I’ve been enjoying putting these Flashback Friday pieces together in recent weeks, as a nice form of reminiscing.
I hope that the nostalgia you were craving could be met by reading this. Plenty more to come. I’m just getting started.