James, Velez Earn Second Team All-American Honors From USCAA

Brandi James / Nikki Velez
Brandi James / Nikki Velez

UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine senior forward Brandi James (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) and junior guard Nikki Velez (Gloucester, N.J./Gloucester City) were both selected as Second Team All-Americans by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association recently.

James, who was a all-American honorable mention selection last season, earned First Team All-Penn State University Athletic Conference this winter as Brandywine's leading scorer and rebounder. She averaged 15.6 points per game and became the 10th Lion to reach 1,000 career points in early January, while adding 9.3 rebounds per outing.

In 27 games, James reached double figures in scoring 22 times, including a career-best 31-point performance at Penn State Beaver in the PSUAC Tournament during the final game of her career. Among all USCAA players, James ranked eighth in field goal percentage (.505) and free throw shooting (.757).

She also produced 10 double-doubles after pulling down at least 10 rebounds 12 times this winter. Her 251 boards were the eighth-highest total in the USCAA.

In 112 career games, James poured in 1,166 points, ranking eighth all-time in scoring at Penn State Brandywine. She is also among the leaders in rebounding with 797 boards.

The first three-time all-American in Brandywine women's basketball history, Velez was a starter in all 27 games, averaging 13.4 points per outing. She shot 40.4 percent from three-point range, the second-highest mark in the USCAA, while ranking seventh in free throw shooting (.758). Velez tallied five 20-point games, with a season high of 27 points coming in a victory over Penn State Mont Alto in November.

Velez, who scored her 1,000th career point early in the season, also averaged 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.1 assists per game. Her 69 steals this season ranked 17th in the USCAA.

Velez will enter her senior season fifth on Brandywine's all-time scoring list with 1,258 points. She is 262 points from passing Dana Johnson as Brandywine's all-time leading scorer.