Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

June 3, 2013

Jacksonville College goes south of the border to find women's hoops assistant

Medrano brings impressive resume to Lady Jaguars

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE —



Mexico has long been the source of a myriad of goodies that many Americans treasure.

From an array of delicious foods to thirst-quenching beverages to the red poinsettia; thanks Mexico.

And if everything goes as planned, Jacksonville College women's basketball fans could soon be adding to their lists of Mexican favorites.

JC officially announced Thursday afternoon the hiring of Rocio “Rosie” Medrano as its assistant women's basketball coach.

“I'm very excited to have Rocio here,” Ailshie said. “Coach (Lynn) Nabi and I interviewed a number of candidates, both by phone and during on-campus interviews, and Rocio was absolutely the best fit for our school and the way we do things around here.

“Her personality, work ethic and fire for the game caught my eye right away.”

Medrano, who is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, will be filling the position previously held by Ailshie, who was promoted to head women's basketball coach earlier this year.

Medrano, 23, brings with her quite an impressive resume.

For starters she is a member of Mexico's Women's National Basketball team — that squad will be playing in Central America in late June trying to secure a berth into next year's World Cup.

Medrano, who attended high school at Greenville (Texas) High, played two years of junior college  hoops at Eastern Oklahoma State University. She then spent a season as a member of the Robert Morris University (NCAA, Division I) basketball team before completing her collegiate eligibility this past season at University of Science and Arts (NAIA) in Chickasha, Okla.

Medrano, had a fabulous senior campaign as she scored 13.7 points per game (team best) and came down with right at six boards a night.

Her efforts earned her a place on the Sooner Athletic Conference's Honorable Mention team.

The mathematics major also excelled in the classroom where she garnered Academic All-Conference mention.

So, while it is easy to see why Medrano was such a qualified candidate for the JC job, it could be said that she was also hired not only for her past success in a number of areas, but for her potential in regard to recruiting, particularly in recruiting international players.

“Coach Medrano has a great basketball background and is of high character,” Nabi said. “We are looking forward to her working with the Lady Jaguars and anticipate that with her international connections that she will prove to be a link for talented student-athletes in other countries to choose Jacksonville College.”

Medrano said that she interviewed for several coaching jobs and that during the process it became clear that JC was the right place for her.

“I felt comfortable when interviewing with coach Nabi and coach Leasa,” Medrano said. “Coach Leasa played at Conners State (Okla.) and I played at Eastern (Oklahoma), so we have that in common.

“ My college coach also thought Jacksonville College would be a good place to start my coaching career.”

Medrano has a lot of confidence in her ability to recruit successfully internationally.

“I do love international players because I was once an international player,” she said. “When I played at Robert Morris our entire team was made up of players from all over the world.”

While it would be easy to assume that Medrano could put JC in good position with players from Mexico, the real reason that she appears to have what it takes to land top international talent has more to do with knowing what is inside the minds of today's typical international player. than what her family heritage is.

“Regardless of what country someone is from, most international players want to go to a college  where there is a strong sense of family, because they are leaving the entire families to come to America to play basketball,” she said. “With the family atmosphere that is here at Jacksonville College I think that I will be able to convince high school players from other countries that Jacksonville College will be a great place for them to start.”

Medrano is the daughter of Gilberto and Elsa Medrano.