Things have changed a bit since I earned my journalism degree from Central State University—a Historically Black College (HBCU) in Wilberforce, Ohio—in 1987. Unlike the present, there were no social media venues then such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, making it a little difficult to follow through on potential story or column ideas.
In today’s world the potential for discovery has increased due to the availability of information on the internet and social platforms. Well, it happened to me!
This is thanks to a Facebook post on the page of a former St. Paul City Conference boys’ basketball great announcing the transfer of his daughter from a women’s Division I basketball program to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) NAIA school.
As I was surfing through Facebook last week, Donald West’s page presented itself. A former St. Paul Como Park standout in the mid-1980s, West posted a picture of his daughter Isabell West, who starred at Shakopee High School before graduating in 2018. She’s pictured wearing a Murray State University (Kentucky) basketball uniform as she was welcomed to Iowa Wesleyan University women’s basketball team.
The athletic careers of West and her father have quite a bit in common.
After staring at Como Park for two varsity seasons with point-per-game averages of 15.4 as a junior (1984), and 19.9 his senior year (1985) while earning all-conference honors as well during this period, Donald West, a 6’3” shooting guard, went on to a fine collegiate career at Southwest Minnesota State University (Marshall, MN).
Based on Isabell’s career to date, Iowa Wesleyan is without question getting quite the player. The 6’1” forward completed her prep career at Shakopee High School in style, leading the Sabers to the Class 4A state tournament averaging 11.8 points per game.
She moved on to Iowa Central Community College averaging 13.1 points as a freshman and 19.6 as sophomore, leading her team in scoring both seasons.
West helped her team capture a Region XI-B title and a trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament in 2020. After spending last season at Murray State appearing in 13 games, West has transferred to NAIA Iowa Wesleyan.
Isabell West has quietly been among the top players in the country as a prep and collegiate player. She’s also made a little noise along the way.
The legacy continues.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.