Sam Wasson/ UNLV Rebels forward/center Paris Strawther( 3) battles for position versus Mississippi State Bulldogs forward Chloe Bibby (55) throughout the Battle In The Desert at the Cox Structure in Las Vegas.
https://lasvegassun.com/photos/galleries/2018/nov/05/Judy_Strawther/” > Paris Strawther Introduce slideshow” Around Paris Strawther’s neck, tucked into her t-shirt, is a fragile cross hanging from a thin, gold chain.
It belonged to her mom, Lourdes, more often referred to by her label, Cookie, who died of breast cancer in 2011. The only time the pendant comes off is when Strawther is on the court with the UNLV Woman Rebels basketball team, and even then, the 6-foot-2 senior post gamer commits every game to her mom’s memory.
” Me and my mom were incredibly close; my household is extremely tight-knit,” Strawther said. “I’m playing basketball for her.”
It reveals. When she’s on the court, Strawther bets her mother like worshipers pray at a Sunday service– with a quiet mix of grace, strength and selflessness.
She will start the 2018-2019 season– her 4th– as forward for the Woman Rebels.
Strawther, 21, will be a three-year starter, averaging 9.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per video game last season to help UNLV win the Mountain West regular season title.
Before college, the Las Vegas native played three years at Liberty High School. Her mother passed away prior to her freshman year of high school, and she took that year off of basketball.
Her close relationship with her household has assisted her make it through the tough times.
After her mother died, Strawther poured herself into assisting her brother or sisters, Julian, who also plays basketball at Liberty, and Paige, and her father, Lee, and they put themselves into assisting her.
” He’s been there for us in so many ways– basketball, when our mom passed away. He was there, just looking after us, making sure our heads were on straight, ensuring we have goals and aspirations,” Strawther stated of her dad.
Strawther said a few of her favorite times with her mother are recorded on house videos. “My mother recorded whatever,” Strawther stated. “We had a whole lot of house videos.”
She stated there’s video of her and her brother or sisters dancing and singing to “everything– B2K, Fate’s Kid, Cheetah Girls,” or dancing along to the BET Awards performances.
Jordyn Bell, a forward for the Girl Rebels, has had fun with Strawther all four years.
” She’s super caring. She speaks her mind, and she puts other individuals prior to herself,” Bell, 21, stated. “I’m super grateful that I’ve got to have this experience with her, and I wouldn’t alter it for the world or ask for it to be any person else. It’s been a blessing to learn more about her and her household.”
Strawther brings that very same altruism to the court, UNLV coach Kathy Olivier said.
” It’s constantly about others, others, others,” Olivier stated, keeping in mind that it would be good for the team if she were a bit more selfish on the court.
” Do I state that to every gamer? No. But with Paris, we need to state that. Her colleagues would tell you that, too,” she stated.
Strawther is learning public health for her undergraduate degree and plans to make her master’s at UNLV in business.
Every year, the Girl Rebels play a video game devoted to bringing awareness to breast cancer. This year’s game will be Feb. 16 against San Jose State University.
” We do a breast cancer awareness game, a pink game, and she’s constantly a mess prior to the game, works truly tough and ends up playing actually well, and it’s for her mommy,” Olivier said.
The Lady Rebels very first game of the season is at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 versus Wright State University at the Cox Pavilion.