Simon West has off-court presence in sports

By Rachel Winter

Senior forward La’kenya Simon West, one of the Cal Poly Pomona
women’s basketball team’s leading scorers, proves there is more to
the game than just points.

With averages of 11.6 points, 5.9 3-pointers and 5.5 rebounds
per game so far this season, interim head coach Danelle Bishop said
Simon West brings a lot to the basketball team as well as to the
Athletic Department in general.

“She has a lot of good qualities,” Bishop said. “She can do a
lot of things sensibly and that can help her team be more
successful.”

Junior center Megan Ford said Simon West was “one-of-a-kind”
because of her versatility on the court.

For the 2009-10 season, she was fourth on the team both in
points scored (6.7) and for rebounds per game (3.7). She also held
the third-best free-throw percentage among active Cal Poly Pomona
players, making 23 of 32 (71.9 percent).

Not only has she shown herself to be a top player for the
Broncos, she was once a Conference Athlete of the Week when she was
at Grossmont College in El Cajon before transferring to Cal Poly
Pomona.

Prior to Grossmont, the fourth-year kinesiology student and
eldest of seven children had been playing basketball since the age
of 12.

Simon West said she originally got into basketball as a way to
socialize with her friends.

“It was more that my friends were playing, so it was something
to do,” Simon West said. “I just ended up enjoying it.”

Aside from playing basketball, Simon West has many other
interests, including music and movies.

“For music, I like Coldplay,” Simon West said. “For movies, I
like ‘Wedding Crashers’ and ‘The Notebook.’ I also have this weird
obsession with nail polish. I like bright colors and I do my nails
about every two days.”

Bishop said Simon West is known for her great sense of humor off
the court.

“She can lighten the mood, which is helpful,” Bishop said.

While Simon West has shown she is a power player for the Broncos
on the court and a lively person off it, many may not have guessed
she was once voted Prom Queen of her high school in Grossmont.

“At the time, I didn’t know my classmates were going to vote for
me [as Prom Queen],” Simon West said. “I didn’t think I would win.
It was a surprise to find out the two [upper] classes voted for
me.”

Upon the completion of this season, Simon West said she will
miss playing for the Broncos when she graduates this year.

“I will miss playing for the [Broncos] because they are part of
a family,” Simon West said. “We’re like one big family and we are
part of a common goal.”

As for next season, Simon West’s departure from the Broncos will
leave a noticeable void among her teammates.

“She brings so much energy to the team,” Ford said. “It’s going
to be sad to see her go.”

Athletics have been an everyday part of Simon West’s life and
will continue to be after graduation where she plans to use her
degree in kinesiology, with the goal of becoming a physical
therapist for athletes.

Simon West has off-court presence in sports

Jonny Tai / The Poly Post

Simon West has off-court presence in sports

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