The current OIT basketball player was awarded the U.S. Bank Academic All-CCC honors

COURTESY PHOTO - Canby alumna Taylor Jorgensen Canby High School continues to produce excellent students and athletes, and one was recognized for her efforts. Last month, Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) junior and basketball player Taylor Jorgenson was awarded All Cascade Collegiate Conference honors for her work in the classroom. Jorgensen joins 122 winter sports athletes, including 11 from OIT, in gaining that recognition.

To be eligible for the award, students must maintain a 3.2 grade point average and have sophomore standing. For Jorgensen, being recognized for her work outside of the basketball court brings a sense of pride. COURTESY PHOTO - OIT junior and Canby alumna Taylor Jorgensen

"It feels good," Jorgensen said. "It's nice that they do awards like that because it shows that, even when you have to put time in for basketball, you still are doing well in the classroom too. Just because you play sports is not an excuse to not do well in school."

Getting that distinction was no mean feat. Jorgensen, a recipient of Three Rivers League honorable mention during her time at Canby, has to balance her practice schedule with that of being a college student.

"We practice basketball two to two and a half hours a night, including film sessions as well as practice," Jorgensen said. "So I go to class, then I go to practice, then I go home, eat dinner, and do homework. It could be crazier, but it's busier than the average student."

Jorgensen is going to college to pursue a career in pediatric oncology. Currently a biology and health sciences major, the Canby alumna wants to assist people as they go through an especially tough time.

"I've always wanted to be in the medical field, and that's a big reason I decided to go to Oregon Tech is because they offer a bunch of different medical degrees," Jorgensen said. "I would like to go to medical school someday because I like kids and I want to help people."

When she is not studying hard or in class, Jorgensen can be found on the court practicing with her teammates. During her time at OIT, Jorgensen has been making strides as an athlete, both in terms of play and as a communicator.

"I would say that I've stepped up into a leadership role in that I've improved my communication on the court and off the court," Jorgensen said. "I've been working on that. I would say that's been helpful for the team to have somebody that talks on the court and understands what's going on."

"In college, one of my biggest struggles is that I'm not super quick," Jorgensen added. "That's been tough for me to adjust against other players because my coach's pride is in his defense. So each year I've improved immensely on that. In high school I don't think I focused on defense as much. I would say that's something that's been my primary focus to improve on here."

The OIT Lady Owls finished their season 20-12 overall, with a 12-8 conference record. Jorgensen had 45 points last season after 198 minutes played.

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