East County Sports

Christian’s Bickford will head to ETBU

Christian High senior Tiffany Bickford on her visit to East Texas Baptist University.

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL

 

By Dave Dickens

EastCountySports.com

 

EL CAJON (9-13-2021) – With a recent surge in attendance at Christian High since the beginning of the pandemic, there also resides many transfers from throughout San Diego County.

Christian High has been on top as of late, with their hardball squad winning CIF championships, and a great football team that might in fact be there as well come this winter.

Not to be left out in the cold, the girls’ basketball program has been every bit as stellar, especially since the arrival of former Horizon girls basketball Coach Vickie Carrington in 2017.

Many stars have come out of the halls and left their mark on the floors of Ryan Center.

Multi-talents like Kristen Williams, Zoe Nordling, Simone James, Allie Carreon, Serene Weckback, and many others.

The most recent talent, who was a local transfer from Lakeside, is former El Capitan guard Tiffany Bickford.

Bickford played her freshman and sophomore years as a Vaquero on the varsity squad.

Christian High senior Tiffany Bickford.

Bickford played 31 games her freshman year and 29 her sophomore year, with 5.2 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game,  and one steal per game in her freshman year, while she averaged 6.1 points per game, 1.8 assists per game, four rebounds per game, and 1.3 steals per game in her sophomore year.

As with all local transfers, Bickford had to sit the first few games as a Lady Patriot, but with the transfer, came new friends, teammates, and coaches. Bickford was now feeling at home, as Christian Unified Schools were back in session, with in-person learning, while the public sector didn’t return as quickly in person.

When finally settling in, and after supporting her teammates on the bench, Tiffany would land herself on the court.

Now being a junior, Bickford quickly absorbed her role as one of the leaders on the court along with seniors Williams and Weckback.

Bickford would only play 17 games, and the Lady Patriots, which would usually travel for out-of-state competition, remained at home for the most part as a result of the pandemic.

The Lady Patriots would end up finishing 11-9 overall and 3-3 in league play.

Bickford played in 17 of those contests scoring 11.9 points per game, 1.6 assists per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, 1.4 steals per game, and 0.4 blocks per game.

But it was her leadership qualities on the floor that could be seen through the younger ladies on the floor, especially, and the knowledge picked up from Weckback and Williams.

Bickford also sharpens her game in the offseason for Cal Sparks club basketball, as most of the Lady Patriots play for as well.

Bickford has been receiving offers for some time now, and had narrowed it down to the most favorable for her wants and needs academically as well as athletically.

It was just last week that after a long visit to the campus of East Texas Baptist University that Bickford made her final decision along with her father, coach Jeff Bickford.

“As soon as we arrived, all four coaches were standing there waiting for my Dad and me,” said Tiffany Bickford. “Coach Blake Arbogast, assistant coach Morgan Garrett, who also attended and played for the Tigers, assistant coach Shaw, and graduate assistant Laura Daulton. They all gave us a complete tour of the campus together. I also met with a few current players, sophomore forward Emma Stelzer, sophomore center Mollie Dittmar, in which I was able to enter the gym and take a few shots with my future teammates. It was also surreal seeing my future locker room with my uniform hanging up in front of the locker. I knew I was home, and this is where I needed to be.”

Prior to the visit, Tiffany was about to sign with Trinity University. Tiffany will be majoring in Psychology-behavior analysis.

“I wanted to live somewhere where it has seasons, it is so green out there,” Tiffany Bickford said. “I also wanted to get out of California to do life on my own, put myself in a situation where I have to adapt to new things. I’m not good with change either, and that is why I also wanted to be away. The coaching staff really made me feel like family. This is why I love my current team at Christian High, we are all very spiritual, and I felt the same way at East Texas Baptist. I felt like God wanted me there, and I had a huge headache prior to making my decision. Once I said it out loud and proclaimed that I was supposed to be there, my headache disappeared immediately.”

This upcoming season at Christian High, as far as girls basketball is concerned, will be led by seniors Japonica Melvin, and Tiffany Bickford, and junior Koko Akridge.

“We have a few freshmen coming in, and in a few years, this team will be incredibly talented,” Tiffany Bickford said. “This will be a learning year, but with great young talent like freshman guard Naomi Henderson, this will be a part of new greatness in a few years at Christian High.”

Tiffany Bickford has spent most of her life on the court, since the tender age of seven. She played soccer and basketball, and had a short stint prior to that as a cheerleader.

Her father said to her long ago, “Do you want to cheer for other people or have people cheering for you?”

“I pretty much made my decision at that point at seven years old to pursue basketball,” Tiffany Bickford said. “Up until my freshman year, my dad was training me, and freshman year at El Capitan High, my dad added personal trainer Ryan Razooky, who runs Hoop House Basketball Training out of El Cajon. In my sophomore year, I started training with Arturo Brewer for my strength and conditioning. My mom and dad, along with my whole family, have been incredibly supportive, including working overtime, doing whatever it takes to make sure I had the tools to be successful.”

Current coach Vickie Carrington is an integral part of Tiffany Bickford’s journey in the present, and future.

“Tiffany Bickford is one of the hardest-working players that I’ve had the opportunity to coach, she is relentless and determined,” Carrington said. “I see in her what I’ve seen in many of great players that I have coached, and I’ve had the privilege of coaching many outstanding players from Horizon, and in recent years at Christian.

“Tiffany has been a great leader, encourager, and is like a coach on the floor. I’ve seen tremendous growth in Tiffany as a player. She has a high IQ, literally on and off the
court. I constantly challenge her to not hold back, make her teammates better, and challenge them to make her better. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to mentor her and pour into her over the years both from a spiritual and athletic perspective.

“The only downside is that I only had the chance to coach her for two years and I would have loved to have spent all four years coaching her in high school. She is a special young lady, who has added a lot to our program. I can’t wait to see how she shines this season and then see her blossom at the next level at ETBU.

“They will be getting an all-around great young lady.

“Tiffany’s parents have done such an amazing job raising her, and supporting her dreams and aspirations, my hats off to them as well.”

Tiffany is now training hard for her last year as a senior with the Lady Patriots and is also currently taking AP Psychology at Christian High in support of her future major.

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