MIAMI — Melinda Murillo, who earned second team NJCAA All-American honors while at Northeastern A&M, has been playing professional basketball in Mexico.
Murillo, who played point guard for coach Jim Rowland’s Lady Norse, has been playing with the Soles de Ojinaga (Suns of Ojinaga) in the 11-team Chihuahua State Basketball League.
“It’s baby steps right now, but hopefully she can get to the next step,” Rowland said. “She is playing pretty well right now. We text each other back and forth and she’s having a good time.”
Soles de Ojinaga plays out of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Murillo played for Rowland during the 20-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
While at NEO, she averaged 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
She helped the Lady Norse reach the 2016 NJCAA women’s national tournament in Lubbock, Texas.
Murillo was the Region II Player of the Year and a second-team All-American as a sophomore.
She also received the Dixie Woodall Inspiration Award winner.
Murillo became one of the first two-time all-MIAA first team players at Central Oklahoma.
She also received NCAA Division 2 women's basketball honorable mention honors as a senior.
“She’s a hard worker,” Rowland said. “I wish I could coach a kid like that every year. She comes in consistently and works to make herself better.
“There’s no one more deserving than her. I am very, very proud of her. She is just a workaholic when she gets out on the floor.”
Murillo averaged 15.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists during her two seasons with the Bronchos.
“It amazes me because she didn’t just plateau; she kept getting better and better and better and better,” Rowland said. “That’s why she is where she’s at today She’s not going to stop. She is going to try to make it to that next level. We don’t know where that next level is going to be.”
Rowland said Murillo is looking at seeking dual citizenship so she can try out for the Mexican national team.
“That big when you start talking about playing for your national team,” Rowland said. “When you make a national team in FIBA, that’s a huge deal.”