This two-time All-Southern Region first-team performer finished her sophomore season as the NWAACC's leading scorer in 2009 and helped her team to a third-place finish at the NWAACC Championships. Umpqua Community College basketball star Kristi Fallin is being recognized as Douglas County Sports Online's latest Athlete Spotlight.
The 19-year old sharpshooter graduated from Roseburg High School in 2007 and was twice named to the all-conference team. Fallin had a solid prep career, but she never played on a team that made it to the 6A state tournament. She also played for two coaches in two seasons at Roseburg. Kristi started for Bob Feasel as a junior, but he resigned after the 2005-06 season. That's when current head coach Jeff Thomas took over the program.
"We had a coaching change my senior year, so we had to learn a whole new system," Fallin said. "Typically, you know everything by your final year and you can help teach the younger players, but all of us had to learn from the beginning."
After graduation, Kristi decided to stay close to home and play basketball at Umpqua Community College and that's where she developed into one of the best players to ever wear a Riverhawks uniform. Kristi just completed her career as the school's all-time three-point leader with 208 breaking the previous record of 132. She also finished second on Umpqua's all-time scoring list and tied for seventh on the all-time rebounding list. She was also named the Southern Region's Most Valuable Player this past season and led the entire NWAACC in scoring (23.0ppg).
"I've been able to accomplish things in college that I never thought I'd be able to do," Fallin said. "I was more of a post player in high school, but I prefer the "up tempo" style of basketball we play here."
"Kristi is a coach's dream," Umpqua womens head basketball coach Dave Stricklin said. "She is talented, coachable, willing to put in the extra time and she has an insatiable desire to get better."
The Riverhawks finished the 2008-09 season with a record of 29-3 and took home third place at the NWAACC Championships in Kennewick, Washington. Umpqua was also ranked number one the entire season before losing to Skagit Valley in the tournament semifinals.
"Coming into the season, Cassie (Scheffelmaier), Cassandra (Tiggett) and I knew we'd have to help lead the team, both on-the-floor and vocally," Fallin said. "Our goal from the start of the year was to win the NWAACC Championship and it's disappointing that we weren't able to accomplish it."
Kristi Fallin's career may be over at Umqpua, but there is plenty of basketball left to play. She has been getting offers from different schools around the country and plans to make her decision on where she will continue her college career in the next few months.
"Fittingly, Kristi is a finalist for the State Farm All-American team," head coach Dave Stricklin said. "She has accomplished a lot at UCC and very well could be the best overall player in the school's history."