Completing transition, building leadership

Falcons’ Burgess makes transition from Community College to Division II

Sabrina Jiles, Staff Reporter

A woman runs with a basketball
Ashlynn Burgess scored 23 points against Puget Sound as the Falcons won 76-63 on Nov. 2nd. (Blake Dahlin)

It takes a lot of work to transfer from a two-year college to a four-year college. The change in pace, intensity and physicality of players when moving from Community College to Division II makes the game slightly more difficult. Seattle Pacific University women’s basketball player Ashlynn Burgess made this transition and stepped up to the challenges it posed this year.

Burgess is currently heading into her senior year as a forward on the SPU women’s basketball team. Burgess is from Eagle River, Alaska, and has been playing basketball since she was five. While playing for Chugiak High School in Alaska, she became an All-Star second team as a sophomore and senior.

Burgess then continued her basketball career, attending Wenatchee Valley College from 2017-2019, playing as a power forward. During Burgess’ sophomore year, the 2018-2019 season, she led the Knights in scoring for the season, averaging 18.5 points. She helped to lead the Knights to win the Northwest Athletic Conference championship and received the tournament MVP.

A woman jumps to shoot a basketball while others jump to stop her
Junior Ashlynn Burgess shoots during the fourth period of Saturdays exhibition game against Puget Sound. (Blake Dahlin)

“It was a blast. Coming right out of high school and playing basketball, it was tough because you play on a team where everyone is good. It was definitely tough, but I had an amazing time,” Burgess stated in a zoom meeting.

After finishing two years playing for the Knights, Burgess transferred to the Falcons for the 2019-2020 season. During the past season, she moved from playing a power forward to small forward for the Falcons, scoring a season high of 27 points against the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Jan. 4 and becoming a key member of the team.

“I love the girls and the coaching staff. Coming into the season I wanted to prove that I could play at this level and contribute to the team and I feel as though I did that, but there are also things I learned from the year,” Burgess said.

With her experiences this past season as a Falcon, and her time spent with the Knights, Burgess knows about how the incoming Falcon players may be feeling.

“I hope to be a leader on the team for the incoming freshman and transfer for next year. I want them to know, being in their situation before myself, I know they’ll do great,” Burgess said.

This year, Burgess made the All-GNAC Honorable Mention team, while averaging 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds during the season.

According to Burgess, there were successes that came from last season, but there were also learning moments. Burgess’ focus is now to prepare for having a more successful season for her senior year.

“I want to go out with a bang next season.”