In guiding the North Division Champion East Mississippi Lady Lions to the school’s first appearance in the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship since 1978, EMCC’s Sharon Thompson has been named the 2008-09 MACJC Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year. The selection was made this week by a collective vote of the state’s community college basketball coaches.
In her fourth season at the helm of the Lady Lion basketball program and eighth season overall at the school, Thompson has directed the 2008-09 EMCC women’s basketball team to a 24-5 overall record after the Lady Lions claimed the NJCAA Region 23 championship with wins over Northwest Mississippi, MACJC state champion Jones County and ninth-ranked Copiah-Lincoln this past week at Mississippi College. The East Mississippi women also captured the North Division regular-season championship and earned the top seed during the MACJC State Tournament.
Entering the upcoming NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, March 17-21 in Salina, Kan., having prevailed in 14 of their last 15 decisions, the Lady Lions’ lone loss during that span was a 59-54 setback to eventual MACJC state champion Jones County in the semifinals of the JCJC-hosted state tournament.
A native of Geiger, Ala., Thompson was a two-time all-SEC performer at Mississippi State prior to playing two seasons of professional basketball. Presently ranked second on MSU’s all-time list with 936 career rebounds and fifth with 1,526 career points, Thompson’s playing career was highlighted by her 2005 selection into the Southeastern Conference Greats Program.