Student athlete, Ashli Payne, accomplished much while attending UCC by staying focused.
She spent some time providing some thoughtful answers in an interview with UCC.
What was your background before attending UCC?
Before attending UCC, I went to Olympic High School in Bremerton, Washington. I’m pretty sure I get my work ethic and my drive to be a good student from my dad. He recently went back to school and will be receiving his bachelor’s degree this June, which is amazing to me. I hope I can be a positive role model and provide for my family the way he does for us.
How would you describe your overall experience at UCC?
The atmosphere at Umpqua is peaceful and relaxing. Staff, faculty, and students are amazingly friendly and supportive. It’s impossible to walk from class to class without seeing someone with an inviting, smiling face walk by.
Who influenced you for the good while you attended UCC?
Dave Stricklin taught me how to be relentless when it comes to pursuing my goals and how important it is to stay focused. He played a big part in making me the basketball player I am today.
Do you have any words of wisdom for student athletes that are coming after you?
My greatest words of wisdom for student athletes are “STAY FOCUSED”. You will encounter a lot of big changes, and some may be distracting. Not many people get the opportunity to play sports at the collegiate level, so definitely don’t take your time at UCC for granted. It is your responsibility to stay on top of your classes and keep your head on straight while in school. Athletes have a very small window for mistakes, especially if your goal is to graduate in two years.
My best advice for students is to USE the resources that are available; UCC staff is there to help, so don’t be intimidated. Making the decision to continue your education is a big step; be assured that anything can be accomplished if you put your mind to it.
How do you feel about your WBB team, winning All-American and signing with a Division-1 school?
This year was definitely a challenge. Being ranked number 1 in the NWAC all year was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing to be a part of a very good team where everyone gave their best shot. But, it was a curse because the pressure was on all year.
Achieving the honor of being named an All-American has made me feel very humble and grateful about what I’ve accomplished at Umpqua. Playing basketball is what I love to do and it helps me get through school without burning a huge hole in my parents’ pocketbook. Achieving a full-ride scholarship to a Division-1 institution has been a goal of mine for years.
What does your future look like?
Currently, I’m selecting between a mechanical engineering or a visual communication degree at Eastern Washington University. Another dream of mine is to play basketball overseas. If I have the chance, I will definitely do that.
Photos: Ashli Payne playing basketball with the UCC Riverhawks (Top), Credit: Hannah Hawkins; Ashli Payne at UCC Student Spring Fling 2015 (Right), Credit: UCC Staff.
Craig Jackson - Contact
Chair, Associate Professor, Human Health & Performance / Outdoor Recreation