Campbell named ‘NCCAA Coach of the Year;’ Lady Bulldogs honored

Lady Bulldogs LaTesa McLaughlin, left, social work graduate student, and Amy Philamlee, junior exercise science major, pose with Head Coach Mark Campbell. The three were recently honored by the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Lady Bulldogs LaTesa Mclaughlin, left, social work graduate student, and Amy Philamlee, junior exercise science major, pose with Head Coach Mark Campbell. The three were recently honored by the National Christian College Athletic Association. | Photo by Anne Richoux

Lady Bulldog head coach Mark Campbell and two Lady Bulldog basketball players, LaTesa Mclaughlin and Amy Philamlee, were honored at the National Christian College Athletic Association 2014 awards for their hard work and performance.

Campbell was named NCCAA coach of the year. He is serving in his 15th season as head coach for the Lady Bulldogs and has led the team to winning four National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national titles in the last eight seasons.

Campbell mentioned his players’ efforts.

“The thing that is most gratifying is watching your players reach their potential and enjoy each other,” said Campbell. “The awards are only a byproduct of the players’ achievements.”

Mclaughlin, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in social work, was named the NCCAA National Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

She is a point guard for the Lady Bulldogs and also earned her second All-American honor with an honorable mention selection in this year’s awards.

Mclaughlin achieved a career high with an average of 10.5 points per game in this season. She led Union with 161 assists and 74 steals. She started all 31 games for Union and shot 42 percent from 3-point range.

Mclaughlin admitted she does not revel in awards. For her, the reward is mainly the joy of sharing the victory with a great group of team players.

“God, first and foremost, but also my teammates and coaches contributed to the success,” said Mclaughlin. “They complement me in so many ways, therefore making my job when I step on the floor a lot easier.”

She will be graduating this month and mentioned her recent trip to Haiti with her teammates as a way of finishing her Union career strong.

“To serve in Haiti with my teammates as national champions, now that is what you call finishing and finishing strong, when you can give and serve others who can never repay you,” said Mclaughlin.

She finished her Union career this season with 943 points, 577 assists and 530 rebounds.

Amy Philamlee, junior exercise science major from Jonesboro, Ark., was named NCCAA first team All-American for the second straight season. She joined Mclaughlin on the all-tournament team.

“I feel very honored to win these recent awards,” said Philamlee. “I have worked very hard my whole life at basketball, and it is always nice to see the hard work pay off.”

Philamlee is the junior guard on the team and led Union with 17.8 points per game in this season. She was second on the team with 123 assists and 32 steals.

She led Union with 67 3-pointers, shooting 43 percent from long range. She also passed 1,000 career points this season, ending her junior season with 1336 points, 399 assists, 341 rebounds and 163 made 3-pointers.

Philamlee said winning awards also motivates her as well as her team members to keep their standards high and to keep working hard.

Campbell mentioned both girls have done well on and off the court.

“The awards they received were earned by their play,” said Campbell. “It was consistently demonstrated over the course of the year.”

However, Campbell added that teamwork was a huge contributor to their success. He credited the other 3-point shooters on the team who helped Philamlee and Mclaughlin to be effective on the court.

“This is what is great about team sports,” said Campbell. “True greatness cannot be accomplished outside the group.”

On April 8, the Union community celebrated the women’s basketball team for winning the NCCAA 2014 National Championship in the Fred DeLay Gymnasium.

Image courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream