January attained many individual awards for her basketball performance this season. The point guard received all conference, all metro, all state and all state Class 3A tournament honors.
But Richfield head coach Scott Stadem would cast his vote for his star player.
record in the 100 meter high hurdles with a time of 14.33 seconds in 2010. She placed second in that event at state last season (14.39).
Jessica January will go down in Richfield High School athletic history as one of the Spartans' all time greats.
Next season, January will display her basketball skills and prowess on the Division I level at DePaul University in Chicago.
"The knee is definitely better than it was before surgery and doesn't bother me during games. But it does get a little sore after games.
January closed out her Spartan basketball career with an outstanding senior season. She averaged 20.6 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 steals and 5.0 rebounds per game.
"Jessica should fit in extremely well at the Division I college level because of her great all around skills. She understands the game and is able to anticipate what she needs to do while attempting a steal or Nike Zoom Ascention 2017 passing off to one of her teammates.
January closed out her high school basketball career in style during the third place game as Richfield defeated Monticello 64 39. She contributed 18 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and eight steals.
"I didn't want to risk hurting the knee in track this season. I want to rest the knee so that I'm ready for basketball at DePaul."
"Jessica could score as many points as she wanted but always put the team ahead of her individual accomplishments," said the Spartan coach. "She had natural ability, but people don't realize how much extra time she spent in the gym trying to improve her all around game.
Then January scored 29 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as the top seeded Spartans lost 61 59 to fifth seeded Red Wing in the semifinals. She scored her team's final 12 points in a comeback bid to pull out the triumph.
"Scoring averages are overrated," said January. "I averaged 29 points per game as a sophomore, but we weren't winning as much as we did the last two seasons.
"It was tough to lose in this year's semifinals against Red Wing. But our team kept fighting and never gave up. We showed our character by coming back to end our season by winning the third place game."
The Spartan standout has rewritten the record books in both sports. January is the school's top female or male basketball career scorer. She finished her prep career with 2,663 points after leading the Spartans to a third Nike Kyrie Deep Pewter
January was at her best in this year's state tournament. The lightning quick Spartan guard provided 19 points and five steals in Richfield's 54 35 quarterfinal win over Hill Murray.
January has always put team goals first.
"It will be weird not coaching Jessica again next season. She meant so much to our program."
This spring season will be a strange one for January because she won't be competing in track. She will concentrate on basketball workouts and making sure her left knee is strong entering college.
Year award that went to Rebekah Dahlman of Braham. Dahlman was the first player in state history to score 5,000 points during her career.
January showed her unselfishness and tenacity by dishing off 179 assists and making 162 steals during the regular season. She played a major role while helping Richfield compile a 28 4 record and winning Classic Suburban Conference and Section 6AAA titles.
"I was comfortable with DePaul's coaching staff and players. I can't wait to enroll at DePaul."
"I decided to do what it takes to help the team win. I take pride in defense and enjoy making a steal as much as scoring a lot of points. And I try to get my teammates involved in our offense."
Richfield's girls track team will lose a dynamic performer in January this spring season. January became a medal winning hurdler and long jumper in state girls track competition during the past five seasons. January broke the all time state meet Nike Zoom Ascention White
first' January ends prep basketball career
January was one of five finalists for the Associated Press Player of the Nike Zoom Basketball Shoes Low Top
"I'm going to miss track this spring but wanted to give my knee a chance to rest after the basketball season," said January. "I had surgery on my left knee between my sophomore and junior years.
January's next basketball game will be as a member of the DePaul University team. She is looking forward to testing her skills against the nation's best.
"It was a hard decision before I decided to sign with DePaul," said January. "I looked at several great schools and made about three visits to DePaul before choosing to go there.
place state Class 3A tournament finish this season and a runner up award at last year's state tourney.
A healthy January could result in many wins for DePaul University over the next four years. And Richfield sports fans will be following her college career closely.
January, a senior, represented her school and the community with class and dignity since she became a varsity basketball player and track participant in seventh grade.
"It was an amazing experience to play in two state tournaments," said January. "We weren't expected to get to state during my junior season.
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