SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — “I’m just honored to be among those names that are there on the list.”
Heading into her senior year at Southeast Polk high school, Sierra Mitchell hadn’t decided her college future. But a summer AAU tournament turned out to play a big role in that decision.
“We weren’t very good, but I just wanted to keep a ball in my hands in the summer time,” said Mitchell
Morningside head coach Jamie Sale was at that tournament, and knew after just one game Sierra could be something special.
“I’m just sitting there watching a bunch of games and an assistant coach from a bigger school came and said ‘if she was a little bigger we’d recruit her in a second, and we know how you play so you may want to take a look at her,'” said Sale. “And I saw her and within 30 seconds I knew we wanted her.”
Sierra signed with Morningside in March of her senior year, and was named GPAC Freshman of the Year in her first season with the Mustangs. Three years later, she was named the GPAC’s Player of the Year, setting the Morningside career record for threes, and becoming one of just four players to score 2000 points. But after a bittersweet ending the national semifinals, and an extra year of eligibility thanks to Covid, Sierra decided to come back for one more shot in maroon and white.
“With the last couple of years with Covid and everything you never know how many games you have left,” said Mitchell. “So just one game at a time, one practice at a time. I’m just trying to enjoy all the moments. Definitely don’t want it to end, and I wish I could have even a sixth year, but I’m just grateful I got a fifth year, because not many people got that opportunity.”
With her return Sierra set the Morningside record for most career starts on New Years Day with 144, and was closing in on the program’s all time scoring mark. But as she drew closer to the record, the pressure started to affect her game.
“When we went to Hastings someone tweeted that I needed to score nine points,” said Sierra. “Which really for me, that would probably be a normal game for me. So we go to Hastings, and I could not make a basket. I think I ended with five points.”
Despite missing out on the record at Hastings, there was a silver lining. Morningside’s next game came just three days later on January 15th at home against Doane, giving Sierra a chance to set the mark in front of her home fans.
“The fact that I got to set that record on our home court was just really special.”
There was just one thing missing.
“My parents weren’t able to make it to that game because of the weather so that was really unfortunate. I came out of the game after I had hit that three, and the coaches hugged me and asked where my parents were and I kind of started crying because they are my number one supporters.”
With the expectations of broken records out of the way, Sierra can now solely focus on the first goal she set when she signed with the Mustangs: winning a championship.
“Since I’ve stepped foot on Morningside that’s been my number one goal.”