MCC's Washington loves the speed of basketball
Before she was 10 years old, Quixmia Washington had already received her first basketball nickname.
Right about the time she was in third grade, Washington was trying out for the Illinois Team USA AAU squad. While the players ran sprints, she drew the attention of the coaches.
“I remember just beating everyone down the court, and the coach was like, 'I already know my nickname for you -- we're going to call you Flash,'” Washington told McHenry Times. “And after that, that was my nickname on the court for a long time.”
She has not slowed down since then, rocketing through the competition at Larkin High School and now blasting past opponents as the top point guard for the McHenry County College (MCC) women's basketball team.
Through Dec. 27, according to www.njcaa.org, Washington, a sophomore at MCC, was 19th in the National Junior College Athletics Association Division II with 55 assists -- an average of five per game -- and was scoring a team-best 11 points a contest.
Washington was also 27th in steals, with 39, which is indicative both of her speed and passion for defense.
“It's just fun stealing the ball from people,” she said.
Another part of basketball Washington likes is the game's multifaceted structure. With shooting, passing, rebounding and defense, basketball features many jobs for a player to perform, she said.
Washington appreciates the teamwork aspect, as well.
“If it's a one-man thing, then not everyone is enjoying the game,” she said. “It's fun that way: when everybody's involved.”
At Larkin, Washington earned All-Upstate Eight Conference honors, as well as being named All-Area and team MVP. She went on to play at Kishwaukee College for the 2015-16 season. According to kishkougars.com, Washington led the Kougars with four assists and four steals per game; furthermore, she was third on the team with 9.4 points per game.
However, when Washington left Kishwaukee, she joined back up with MCC Head Coach Karen Wiley. Washington said Wiley had recruited her during her senior year at Larkin, and she thought that Wiley was the one to help her hone her skills as a point guard.
“And I just like her coaching style,” Washington said. “She's really passionate about what she does, and you can see every day she comes in and she wants us to get better. She pushes us and, like, motivates us.”
Washington said she has improved with looking up the court to see open players and get her teammates involved. She has gotten better at stopping an opponent on a dribble drive, too.
The point guard said she still wants to improve her passing as well as her free-throw and three-point shooting percentages. In her first 11 games of this season, Washington made 20 percent of her three-point attempts and 74.1 percent of free throws.
After this season, Washington hopes to move on to a four-year college -- preferably with warm weather -- with the eventual goal of becoming a fitness trainer.
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