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Stratton's past paves way for present success

Feb. 7, 2001

By MARK ALLAN PETERSON

Sports writer

Quick trivia: What do Baylor Lady Bears head Coach Kim Mulkey and guard Jessika Stratton have in common? Believe it or not, both are in the National Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

Stratton, a freshman from Colorado Springs, had her No. 10 high school jersey retired after finishing 10th all-time in career points and second in steals in the state of Colorado.

She lettered 14 times, including track, cross-country and tennis along with basketball.

After a senior year that included being named Gatorade All-American and USA Today honorable mention, Stratton's jersey was placed in the hall of fame for one year.

Soon after her stellar career at Coronado High School, Stratton left for Waco, choosing Baylor over such schools as Colorado State, Arizona State and New Mexico.

So then, why Baylor?

'It felt like it fit my personality,' Stratton said. 'It had a special place in my heart. I really felt like I belonged here, and I really believe the Lord led me here.'

Although only a freshman, Stratton has already made a name for herself on the women's basketball team.

She was a large part of Baylor's upset win over the University of Texas, scoring 15 points and playing 35 minutes. Later in the week she was named Big 12 newcomer of the week.

Besides basketball, Stratton is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, along with a once-a-week Bible study, led by Dr. Milton Cunningham, for those on both the men's and women's basketball teams.

She also attends Antioch Community Church.

So what about the change from Colorado Springs to Waco? Although Stratton misses the mountains, she says she is enjoying her new home.

'I like the size and the people here are super nice,' she said.

As far as future plans go, Stratton has several options. Although she is still undeclared for her major, she's leaning toward broadcast journalism.

When she graduates, Stratton says she wants to continue to play basketball as long as she can, hopefully in the WNBA. After that, Stratton is interested in being an executive recruiter for a professional basketball team.

'Basically, you work in an office of a team and do the recruiting. You also handle the contracts for them, instead of an agent,' she said.

It might be early, but with the way Stratton has stepped up for the Lady Bears this year, she might not have to worry about being the recruiter for a WNBA team anytime soon, but instead being the one recruited.

Guard Jessika Stratton practices her free throw form recently at the Ferrell Special Events Center. Stratton is one of the keys to the Lady Bears recent success.