LA JUNTA — Aubry Boehme, a 6’0 post player for the Otero Junior College women’s basketball team, has been named to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) All American First Team. Her nomination to the All American First Team places her in the top 10 players in the nation for junior colleges. Boehme’s selection came on the heels of the Lady Rattler’s first appearance last month in the NJCAA National Tournament in Salina, Kan., after winning the Region IX championship.
Boehme, from Smithfield, Utah, has moved into the #2 all-time scoring-positions for OJC women’s basketball. She scored 1041 points for her two-year career at OJC, being only the second player to reach 1000 points in a career. Boehme also broke the school record for steals in a season (100), for blocks in a career (94) and for field goal percentage in a career (.552).
At the end of her freshman year in 2011, Boehme led the Lady Ratters to the Region IX championship game where they were named runner-ups. She was selected to the All-Tournament team and the All-Region team and was named to the Academic All-Region team for 2011. In July of 2011, Boehme was selected to play in the NJCAA All Star game at Pensacola State College in Florida.
This past season as a sophomore, Boehme once again led the Lady Rattlers into the championship game for Region IX, and this year, the Rattlers came out the champions, a first-time award in the team’s history.
Boehme was named to the Region IX All-Tournament and All-Region Team for 2012. She was pivotal in leading the Lady Rattlers to a 33-3 season (most wins ever) and their first-ever appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament where they captured two wins and finished 8th in the National Tournament.
As Boehme prepares to graduate from OJC this spring and move on to attend the University of Wyoming where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree and play for the UW Cowgirls, she reflected on her past two years at Otero.
Boehme said she originally came to Otero for the opportunity to play with her two best friends, Taylor Rock and Nicole Hansen; all three were teammates from Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah.
“I not only wanted to continue playing with my former teammates, I really wanted to play for Coach Taylor Wagner. I felt like he was a good person and would help me become a better person and player,” said Boehme.
Over the past two years, Boehme said her experience as a student at OJC has been rewarding and life-changing. “I’ve enjoyed learning at Otero. It’s a great school and I’m so glad I came here to further my education. Because of some of the teachers I’ve had here, they’ve influenced my decision about what I want to do with the rest of my life,” she said.
Boehme admits that being a student-athlete can sometimes be challenging. “At times it has been a struggle on the court and in the classroom because you have a lot of things you have to balance in your life. But I’ve learned so much from those struggles and I know I’ve grown in many ways over the past two years,” she said. “I’ve loved every minute of being a student-athlete at OJC; I wouldn’t want anything more right now in my life than to get an education and play basketball at the same time.”
Boehme said the she will take many fond memories with her when she leaves Otero in a few weeks. “Some of my most memorable experiences here at Otero have been conditioning in the preseason, making it to the championship game last year, winning region this year and taking 8th at nationals. While those are very special memories, my greatest memoires will be about spending time with all the new friends I’ve made since coming here,” she said.
Boehme said she is looking forward to moving on, but will definitely miss her teammates and coaches. “I spend every day with them and love being around them. I’m also going to miss all the people I see on campus every day and others that I’ve made relationships with off campus,” she said.
Boehme’s future academic and career plans are to attend the University of Wyoming and get a degree in secondary math education. Upon completing her degree, she plans to become a middle school math teacher.
“I love math and love being around kids. I feel that if I can make a positive influence on children’s lives that I can, in return, enjoy my life because I know that I’ve made a difference in their life. In addition to becoming a teacher, I want to be a mother and give my kids a chance to have what I’ve had in my life and more,” she said.
Upon learning that she had been selected to the NJCAA All American First Team, the soft spoken and humble Boehme said she had a hard time wrapping her head around the magnitude of the award.
“This is an amazing honor and it means so much to me, but it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around it all. I know I’ve been successful, but I know I still have a lot to improve on. It really is a great honor to be named one of the top ten players in the NJCAA. I never would’ve imagined getting anything like this when I decided to come to Otero two years ago,” she said.
In addition to giving Coach Wagner credit for cultivating her talent, Boehme was also appreciative of her former high school and club coaches and especially her parents.
“When I was younger, all I did was play basketball. My parents were so good to follow me around to all of the games that they could. If it wasn’t for them supporting me when I was younger, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today,” she said.
Taylor Wagner, head coach of the women’s basketball program at Otero, said that coaching Boehme these past two years has been one of the highlights of his coaching career.
“Aubry did a tremendous job for our program the last two years,” said Wagner. “Every accolade she received during her career at Otero is well deserved. She has a tremendous work ethic, she was a great teammate, she was unselfish with the basketball and she was humble throughout her two years at Otero. I think her teammates and coaches appreciated how hard she worked in practice and all the extra time she spent in the gym. She set the bar on how hard we needed to work. As good of a basketball player that she is, she is even a better person. I will miss Aubry the person more than I will Aubry the basketball player. It was a pleasure to coach her and I know she will be very successful at the University of Wyoming,” said Wagner.
Boehme has recently signed with the University of Wyoming women’s basketball program. The Wyoming Cowgirls are looking forward to utilize her experience and talents as they compete in the NCAA Division I-A level as members of the Mountain West Conference.
“The addition of Aubry solidifies our post play,” said UW’s head women’s coach Joe Legerski, after signing the incoming junior to the Wyoming Cowgirl’s roster. “She is a tremendous competitor and will have an immediate impact on the Wyoming program. Her toughness and desire to win are second to none,” he said.