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Former Mount Shasta Bear to play basketball for Lady Eagles

Bill Choy
Siskiyou Daily News
Ashija Garner of Mount Shasta High School, center, has joined the College of the Siskiyous women’s basketball team.

After she graduated from Mount Shasta High School in June, Ashija Garner planned to move away from home to focus on her academics.

She was going to attend Butte College in Oroville to study administrative justice and eventually pursue a career in forensics.

Things changed, however, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Butte classes moved online.

“It changed everything,” she said.

Ashija had a dilemma that many college-bound students are facing due to the pandemic: Leave home and pay for things like room and board when classes are being taught online, or stay home and go to the local college.

Garner decided to attend College of the Siskiyous for at least a year.

First-year COS Lady Eagles basketball coach and longtime assistant Noelle Collier thought  Ashija would make a good addition to the team and asked her to join.

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While Garner did not originally plan to play basketball in college,  she  decided to give it a try and joined the team.

A  5 foot 11 inch post player, she was an honorable mention  selection in the  Shasta Cascade League her senior year for the MSHS Bears, where she averaged 8.3 rebounds and 6.7 points per game.

COS will not begin their basketball season until 2021, but players are already hard at work training.

Garner and her teammates are doing shooting drills and weight training while practicing safe social distancing.

Collier said she believes Garner will be a good addition to the Lady Eagles team. She  brings solid rebounding skills to the post, which is a position of need. Collier added that Ashija is a good defender and believes this will be an asset to the team.

“I’m happy to see her join the team, and she seems ready to come out and help us,” Collier said.

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Garner admits that she’s nervous about whether or not the season will happen. She said she has enjoyed training with her new team and is hopeful to get back on the court.

Her new plan is to stay at COS for at least a year, and then see what happens.

Ashija added she is happy to be given the opportunity to play basketball again.