By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Tiffani Riggen will go from being a Lady Brave this year to a Lady Wildcat next year as she takes her game to the college level. She signed a letter of intent on Friday, March 20 to play next season at Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte campus.
“It’s exciting because I’m the first one in my family to be going, and I make my Tribe proud,” said Riggen who plans to study sports management with the future goal of starting her own marketing business.
Riggen, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, was named honorable mention in the Smoky Mountain All-Conference selections this season and was named to the inaugural West-Midwest All-Star game. She helped lead the Lady Braves to their fifth consecutive Sectional Championship and a 25-4 record. Riggen played for Choctaw Central in Mississippi for three years (freshman and sophomore years on JV, junior year on varsity) and her senior year at Cherokee.
“We are so proud of her,” said Matilda Riggen, Tiffani’s mother. “It’s just unbelievable.”
Her father, Jeff Riggen, added, “She’s the first one in the family to go to college on a sports scholarship. Everyone is proud.”
Chris Mintz, Lady Braves head coach, commented, “It’s a good feeling when you can let people chase their dreams and be able to move on to the next level. We spend a lot of time contacting coaches and getting them up here to watch and seeing them on film so it’s really satisfying.”
John Jordan, Lady Wildcats head coach, related, “We are very happy to get a player of Tiffani’s ability and especially to get a player off of what I consider to be one of the top high school basketball programs in the state.”
He added, “I think her energy level is good. She plays with a high energy. She attacks the basket really well. She likes to play fast. We like to play fast, and she has a very good basketball IQ. She understands the game very well, and I would say, most importantly for us, she is an excellent student.”
Johnson & Wales, a NCAA Division II team, plays in the U.S. Collegiate Atheletic Association (USCAA) and finished their 2014-15 season with a 10-14 record.