West Valley's Ashmore signs NLI to Gallaudet

FAIRBANKS, AK-West Valley's Lawjen Ashmore signed her national letter of intent today. Ashmore will go on to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. to play basketball for Gallaudet University a division three program.

If you remember our story on Lawjen Ashmore she is hard of hearing but Gallaudet is the only school specifically for the hearing impaired.

Despite her lack of hearing Ashmore lets her game doing the talking. Ashmore averaged 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assist in her senior season. She aided the Wolfpack in winning the MAC this year. Ashmore was also a Mt. McKinley Bank Holiday Basketball Tournament selection and was named most inspirational for the West Valley Wolfpack team.

The Bison of Gallaudet finished 7-18 last year but won 24 games in 2011 and went to the NCAAs. The assistant coach from that team, Stephanie Stevens enters her first year as head coach for the Bison and Ashmore is her first recruit to sign. Ashmore said that Gallaudet was the only school she aimed to go to even thought there other programs across the country that could faciliate having a playing with a hearing impairment. She also wants to pursue an education degree and become a teacher.

Ashmore was emotional and grateful for your experience at West Valley and excited about playing in a program where everyone is just like her.

"It makes me more involved. I can communicate more. I can understand what's going on faster," Ashmore said.

Her uncle, William So, was in attendance and believes this is a great opporunity for his niece who has put in the hours to make this day come true.

"When tried to learn the basketball she worked really really hard. She watched a lot of video, watched a lot of games and she practiced every day," So said.  "I tried to helper her along and I'm proud of her".

Ashmore's mother, Anne Lam, was very grateful to West Valley's head coach Steve Caciari for his role in bringing Lawjen along as a player.

"I'm very proud of my daughter Lawjen Ashmore. She really likes to play basketball. And I thank you, the coach, who teaches her very good. Thank you," Lam said.

West Valley head coach Steve Caciari said they were some ups and downs in far as communicated with Ashmore on the court the past couple of seasons but he feels that Gallaudet will bring out the best in her.

"She is going to be around kids that can communicate constantly with her and her teammates and her new teammates. And I think she's just going to fulfill her maximum potential." Caciari said.