TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 11, 2018) – Last month, Japonica James became a National Champion. Today, she is a NJCAA All-American.
James' record-breaking career at Tallahassee Community College hit another high note on Wednesday when she was named First-team All-America by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The Mobile, Ala., native led Tallahassee to its first NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship in March and was selected to the all-tournament team after averaging 13.0 points and 8.4 rebounds during five games in Lubbock, Texas. She was previously named First-team FCSAA All-State/NJCAA Region 8 and First-team All-Panhandle Conference.
"I'm very excited to see Japonica's hard work recognized by the NJCAA," said Tallahassee head coach Franqua "Q" Bedell. "This validates what she has accomplished over the last two seasons.
"It's exciting for (Japonica) to have won a national championship, which is a team accomplishment, and now to cap off her career with an individual accolade such as All-America is well-deserved and exciting to witness."
James averaged 17.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 57.6 percent from the floor over 35 games in 2017-18, leading the Eagles to a school-record 29 wins.
During the Eagles' NJCAA semifinal win over two-time defending champion Gulf Coast State College, James surpassed former Tallahassee teammate Lawriell Wilson to become the school's all-time leading scorer and finished with 1,143 career points.
James also finished as the school's all-time leader in field goal percentage (56.9%), field goals made (439), free throws made (265) and free throw attempts (446) and finished third all-time with 525 rebounds, becoming the first 1,000-point/500 rebound player in school history.
James joins Wilson (2017) as the only women's basketball players in school history to receive First-team NJCAA All-America honors and is just the fifth NJCAA recipient overall, joining Tamilla Murray (1999, honorable mention), Shamar Harris (2008, second-team) and Jeraldine Campbell (2013, third-team).