03/19/13 — MOC seniors glad they chose Division II

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MOC seniors glad they chose Division II

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 19, 2013 1:47 PM

Kirstin Mobley, Alyssa Luebs and Tamara Nesmith had individual reasons for choosing to play basketball at Mount Olive College.

And each found the same thing once they arrived on campus -- a family away from home. Their teammates became their sisters and the coaches served as parental figures to the trio, who undoubtedly blossomed in their own way on and off the court.

Mobley and Luebs joined the team as freshmen.

Nesmith transferred to MOC last season.

The three seniors closed the book on their collegiate careers with an 89-58 loss to No. 1-ranked Clayton State (Ga.) University in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Friday evening. They helped guide Mount Olive to its first postseason appearance since 2008 and just the second overall in program history.

"I feel blessed and grateful that I was able to come here, and I'm glad that I chose to come here," Luebs said. "I've met good friends. I've learned to be patient with certain things ... relax and realize that everything will happen for you."

Luebs and Mobley helped the Trojan women compile 74 wins and make three trips to the Conference Carolinas tournament championship game during their four years in a uniform.

A native of Havelock, Luebs played in all 30 games this season. She finished her career with 561 points and 624 rebounds.

Mobley missed six games with an injury, but took the court 24 times this winter. While her career numbers are minimal, she undoubtedly contributed significant minutes off the bench and provided sparks on many occasions when the team needed it.

"The things I've learned here at Mount Olive are things that have not only helped me in the classroom, but they will help me in life as well," said Mobley, who hails from Hagerstown, Md.

"It's been a growing experience for me and I've learned about hard work, teamwork and perseverance. I also learned that every role is important."

Nesmith was part of 37 wins during her two-year stint.

A two-time all-Conference Carolinas performer, Nesmith poured in 872 points and grabbed 512 rebounds for the Trojans. She earned a spot on the 2012-13 Daktronics All-Southeast Region second team.

"I came here to avoid the drama, off the court and sometimes on the court, that I had at my previous school," said Nesmith, who grew up in Richmond, Va. "That was the main thing I talked with (MOC) Coach (Wendy) Lee about when I got here. The only people I hang around are on the basketball team and that's fine with me because they're like a family.

"That's what I appreciate the most. We might not win every game, but off the court, you can talk to your teammates and when you get back onto the court, you do what you have to do. It's that much better when you are with people who have your back."

As a family should.