Lake rises to NCAA Division I |

Lake rises to NCAA Division I

Michael Traum

Ada May Lake wasn’t a standout high school basketball player. During her four years at South Tahoe High, Lake played the role of an above-average post player for average teams.

But in two short years, everything has changed.

Lake just completed her sophomore season at Sierra Junior College in Rocklin, Calif. And what a year it was.

The 1996 South Tahoe grad was recently named first-team all-state among California junior college women and has signed to play NCAA Division 1 college basketball at Cal-State Fullerton, where she accepted a full-ride scholarship. She also was first team in the Bay Valley League.

“Ada was a special player for us. I’m really sorry to see her go,” said Sierra coach Roz Goldenberg, whose team finished fifth in the state. “I had high expectations for Ada. Once she became comfortable with our system and knew what was expected, she really did well.”

Lake, a 6-foot center/forward, averaged 12.9 points and seven rebounds a game, as Sierra finished 27-9.

“I knew there was a lot expected of me this year and I just wanted to do my best. I had a good feeling we’d make it to state,” Lake said.

Goldenberg encouraged Fullerton first-year coach Denise Curry, a former Olympian, to ink Lake early in the season. As a result, Lake was the only California JC woman to commit to a four-year school prior to this season’s completion, according to Goldenberg.

And it’s a gamble that paid off.

“There’s only five players from the North and five from the South selected to the first team. That means Ada is one of the top 10 players out of (approximately) 880 in the state,” Goldenberg said. “I told Denise that Ada would definitely go somewhere and that she should scoop her up right away. She should do well at the next level.”

Added Lake, “I really wanted to sign early and just not worry about it. They visited and wanted me.”

Fullerton plays in the Big West Conference, which means local fans will be able to watch Lake and the Titans when they come to Reno next winter.

Lake becomes just the second STHS player since Erin Davenport (Silva) to play D1 ball. Davenport played at St. Mary’s in Moraga in the late 1980s.

Notes: Sierra lost to Cerritos, 79-69, in the first round of the state tournament. Lake had 12 points. San Jose City College, ranked No. 1 in the North, eventually beat two-time defending champs Ventura City College for the title … Sierra’s mark of 27-9 was a school record for both men’s and women’s hoops … four Sierra players averaged in double figures and sophomore point guard Amy McCloud was named to the all-state team … Sierra returns 11 players next season.

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