Winslow High School senior Francine McCurtain signed a letter of intent with Washington State University on Wednesday. McCurtain will graduate from Winslow High School in May among the top 10 percent of her class. She was a four year starter with the Winslow Lady Bulldogs basketball team and led her team to an Arizona State 3A State Championship in 1998 and State Runners Up finishes in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons.
McCurtain and her parents Johnny and Nellie McCurtain signed the documents required for her to accept a basketball scholarship from the Pullman, Washington institution at Winslow High School on April 11. She, her parents and WHS girls’ basketball coach Don Petranovich answered questions at the signing.
Nellie McCurtain said that Francine had been playing AAU and New Mexico Summer League basketball since she was 11 years old. She said Francine should be able to handle being away from home well as she has traveled considerably and lived at the Winslow Dormitory during her high school career. The McCurtains home is at Chinle.
Petranovich said that she has been a team leader since her freshman season and is among the top students in her class with a grade point average of 3.7 out of a possible 4.0. He said that 3A North is one of the toughest conferences in high school basketball. McCurtain has played in pressure situations before large crowds.
McCurtain said she was impressed with the Washington State campus and locale during her visit to Pullman. She plans to attend summer school at the university and will major in computer science. She said she was happy WSU has chosen to recruit a number of Arizona high school players. The only player she knew by name was Shadow Mountain High School guard Jessica Perry. McCurtain expects to play the shooting guard position. WSU has a point guard in her senior year.
McCurtain was the Winslow Lady Bulldogs’ leading scorer during her senior year with a 27 points per game average. Among her many honors were Navajo Times Winter Sports Athlete of the Year, Female Player of the Year, Legends Team Selection, Player of the Week as a senior and All-Area Team as a junior. She was the Arizona Republic’s Small School (1A-3A) Player of the Year, 3A North Regional Player of the Year during her senior year. She was All Region, All State, All Gallup Invitational Tournament Team Member and All Winslow Winter Classic Tournament Team Member in her junior and senior years. She was a member of the Arizona Republic’s All Arizona Third Team as a junior and of the Summer San Diego Jack in the Box All Tournament Team as a sophomore and a junior. She received the Ganado Sportsmanship Award and was named the WHS offensive player of the year as a junior. She won the Scholar Athlete Award and was the WHS Defensive Player of the Year, the Three-point Shoot-Out Regional Champion and State Runner-up as a sophomore.
During her high school career, McCurtain played on an Arizona State 3A Championship Team and three State Runners-Up. She was a member of teams that won the 3A East Region Championship twice and were Runners-Up in the 3A North Region twice. She has been one of the most accomplished and versatile athletes ever to play in an extremely successful Winslow High School program.