Janelle Travis, a 5-foot-7 point guard, will transfer from Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo., and play basketball next year at Washburn University, an NCAA Division II school. The announcement was made by Washburn women’s head coach Ron McHenry.
Travis completed her sophomore season averaging 13.2 points, 5.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game while leading the country in free-throw shooting for Mineral Area (21-8 overall) this past year. The Justin-Siena High School graduate and former Braves star was named as a National Junior College Athletic Association Honorable Mention All-American.
Travis shot 44.8 percent from beyond the arc. She was 98.4 percent from the free-throw line (63 of 64).
Mineral Area won 16 of its first 17 games to start the season, climbing to as high as No. 13 in the national rankings for NJCAA D-I teams.
“We will miss her in a huge, huge way,” Mineral Area head coach Gary Koch said, adding that Washburn is “getting a wonderful student-athlete.”
Travis was named first team on the All-Region 16 Team. She scored 20 points for Mineral Area, but the Lady Cardinals lost to State Fair in the first round of the Region 16 Tournament, 67-64.
“Janelle is a true point guard, and she has a great feel for the game and can push the ball up the floor as well as any point we have had here,” McHenry said on the Washburn website. “She [has] the ability to score and likes to give it up to her teammates.”
Travis was an All-State and All-Northern California player who scored 1,082 points in two years for Justin-Siena. She graduated in 2010 as one of the top players in school history. She was the San Francisco Chronicle North Bay Regional Player of the Year, was second-team All-Metro by the Chronicle, and was the Napa County Player of the Year.
Travis will play on a scholarship for Washburn, in Topeka, Kan. Washburn finished the 2012-13 season ranked No. 14 in the nation after winning its second-straight Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular-season championship and reaching its 12th-straight NCAA Tournament.
“I’m excited about this entire class,” McHenry said. “I can’t wait to get everyone on campus and to get started on this upcoming season.”
Travis transferred from Army to Mineral Area. She started seven games as a freshman at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Following her graduation from Justin-Siena, she attended the U.S. Military Academy Prep School in Fort Monmouth, N.J., and as a captain led the team in scoring and assists, playing the point and shooting guard positions. She scored 33 points in a win over the Naval Academy Prep School.
At Justin-Siena, she set school records for single-season free-throw percentage (89 percent), career free-throw percentage (84 percent) and single-season assists (178).
“I’m very proud of her,” said Justin-Siena girls basketball coach Mike Boles. “She has wanted to play basketball at the next level ever since I’ve known her. She has put herself in that position because of her work ethic, because of putting that extra time in the gym when other kids will be doing other things. I know she kept that work ethic when she left Justin.
“A lot of people would not have taken the path that she took — they would have quit, they would have given up. But she is very driven and a good role model for those that want to play.”
Travis also played club basketball for Cal Star Elite.
She led Justin-Siena in scoring (19.7 points per game), rebounding (6.7), assists (5.4) and steals (2.8) her senior year. Justin-Siena was the Marin County Athletic League tournament champion, tied for the MCAL regular-season title and advanced to both the CIF North Coast Section and Northern California playoffs.
Travis played her freshman year at Miramonte-Orinda and her sophomore year at Campolindo-Moraga, both East Bay schools. She transferred to Justin-Siena for her junior year.
“Janelle was a winner. She was going to do whatever it took to win a basketball game,” said Boles. “We were lucky to have her.”
Washburn lost in the opening round of the NCAA Central Region tournament on March 26 and finished the year 23-6.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association is a 15-member conference that includes schools in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. It’s one of the top NCAA Division II conferences in the country and also has the University of Central Missouri, the University of Central Oklahoma, Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Lincoln University, Lindenwood University, Missouri Southern State University, Missouri Western State University, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Northeastern State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Pittsburg State University, Southwest Baptist University and Truman State University.