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Westwood High School senior Daycee Achin will continue her higher education and college basketball career with the Benedictine University Mesa Redhawks. Photo courtesy of Sarah Achin

WWHS Senior Signs on With Benedictine University Mesa

Westwood High School senior and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Daycee Achin officially signed with Benedictine University Mesa on Wednesday, April 1. Her immediate family and grandparents joined her as she laid pen to paper and committed to furthering her education and playing basketball with the Redhawks starting in the fall.

Her new journey started days after the news of all Arizona schools being shut down for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a devastating blow for seniors, who will miss their senior prom and graduation ceremonies.

“As of now I don’t know if they will do any graduation ceremonies, but I will receive my diploma in the mail,” said Achin. “What I will miss about high school basketball the most is all the laughs we shared. It is sad, because the team is like my family. We played together for the last six years at school and on club teams, and we’re all going our separate ways now.”

Although Achin’s high school career has been cut a bit short, she looks forward to moving on. It wouldn’t have been possible if Benedictine head coach Brian Hutchins hadn’t taken notice of Achin’s skills on the court and recruited the high school senior.

Achin was playing with the club team Copa Krew at the High School Tournament at the Way of Life Facility in February when Hutchins recognized her skills.

“I was playing hard and doing really good,” said Achin. “I was out of breath, but Coach Hutchins said my defense spoke out to him and [I demonstrated] how I wasn’t giving up.”

Earlier this basketball season, Achin was asked by O’odham Action News if she was going to continue with basketball at the college level. At the time she said no, but Achin explained that because someone saw something in her, she felt it wasn’t time for her to give it up yet and that she should give college ball a shot.

Achin shares her big moment with her family including her mother Sarah Achin and Erwin Manuel, as she committed to Benedictine University Mesa. Photo courtesy of Sarah Achin
Achin plans to study for a career in the medical field and after a couple of years transfer to a larger university, such as the University of Kansas. She would like to recognize her entire family, friends and the Community for always supporting her and the Westwood Lady Warriors.

When she told her family that she had decided to continue with basketball in college, “They were happy for me, because I am a person who has a love/hate relationship with basketball, but when I told them … they were excited and proud of me,” said Achin.

Achin chose to hold her signing at her grandparents Emily and Garfield King’s home on Wednesday, April 1. Photo courtesy of Sarah Achin

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