A look back at a college career of nonstop buckets and boards
This last year was the season that senior Jenn Wirth cemented herself as one of the best post players in the history of the Gonzaga program.
We saw Wirth confirm her potential with the award of WCC Player of the Year and an honorable mention for the All-American awards. Much like her teammate Jill Townsend, Wirth maintained the high level of play that led to Gonzaga finishing with only 3 losses over 2 years in WCC action.
Wirth was a sure thing in the post throughout her career. The 6-3 forward fought for minutes since her freshman season, averaging over 18 minutes with 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. That was a team with future WNBA draftee Jill Barta and pro Zykera Rice, and Wirth carved out steady playing time.
Wirth came off the bench her sophomore season and served as an instant offensive option. She averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game. That season she also led the team and conference in field goal percentage, shooting 53.8 percent.
In her junior and senior seasons, Wirth proved that she was ready for a larger role and that her production would withstand a larger sample size. She started all of the games she played her final two seasons, and was All-WCC both seasons. Wirth was the leading rebounder for the team both seasons.
She improved her 6.9 rebounds her junior campaign to 8.1 rebounds her final season. Wirth’s career could be best explained as someone that mastered and honed the skills that she excelled at. Her rebounding was not the only part of her solid skill set that would eventually grow to be a superb calling card.
She raised her totals every season as more responsibilities were placed on her. She added a couple points each year going from 8.3 to 10.8 to 12.7 over her final three seasons. But notably, her shooting percentage remained true. Her 53.8 percent her sophomore season was phenomenal. That also applies to her ability to match that percentage her senior year while putting up nearly 100 more shot attempts.
Wirth joined her twin sister LeeAnne Wirth and Townsend in declaring their draft eligibility. None of them were selected. This year is an especially tough year for WNBA prospects, as many teams are deep and rested from players defecting from the bubble season. The scarcity is only exacerbated by the limitations of possibilities with a 12-team league.
But as we’ve learned from the great Lady Zags before them, the WNBA isn’t the only way to make a career out of being a damn good basketball player.
Wirth’s name was floated in several mock drafts, which suggests a strong likelihood she will receive a camp invite from one or more teams. She could also decide that going straight to playing time overseas is the route to go. Regardless, we thank Wirth for her time in Spokane and charting the path for Gonzaga’s program to continue to grow.