Tecca racking up the hoop honors at Akron

Rachel Tecca has scripted a basketball career second to none in the University of Akron annals.

The 6-1 senior is already the Zips’ all-time leading scorer and recently became only the second Mid-American Conference player ever to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.

Her on-court achievements are staggering. Tecca’s academic accomplishments are nothing short of illustrious as well.

The Akron Archbishop Hoban graduate was informed Thursday that she is an Academic All-American first-team honoree. She is Akron’s first women’s basketball player ever to receive first-team honors. Tecca was named to the second team a year ago.

The Capital One Academic All-America Team is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Tecca boasts a 3.89 graduate GPA. She received her bachelor’s degree in marketing management in December of 2012. She is on track to earn her MBA this spring.

Tecca is enjoying a monster season on the hardwood. She is averaging 23.9 points and 9.7 rebounds a game for the 16-8 Zips. She is shooting 51.5 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line.

She stands a great chance of repeating as Mid-American Conference Player of the Year.

Tecca also has Eastern Ohio connections. Her mom, Kelly Saffield Tecca, is a Bellaire native and St. John Central graduate. Her parents, Patty and Rich Saffield, and sister, Amy, still reside in the Ohio Valley.

Her dad enjoyed a long and successful boys’ prep hoop coaching career at Meadowbrook and Union Local. He starred at West Liberty after transferring back from the University of Florida where he earned a basketball scholarship.

Tecca, who will likely be a WNBA draft selection this spring, has been named MAC East Player of the Week four times this season and 10 times throughout her career. She attained an even more impressive honor by being named NCAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after scoring a school-record 43 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 28.

The multi-faceted hoopster has played in an Akron record 130 games and made her 100th career start Saturday at Athens against Ohio.

As a junior, Tecca averaged 18.5 points a game while only averaging 25 minutes per contest.

“I am so fortunate to coach and be part of Rachel’s life. She has worked extremely hard to be a complete basketball player and her numerous individual and team records is a reflection of all those many hours,” said Akron head coach Jodi Kest. “Rachel has excelled both in the classroom and the basketball court and she is great role model for other ladies who want to exceed. I am very proud of Rachel.”

Rachel’s father, Gib, was a standout hoopster at the College of Wooster, where he remains as one of the top corer in Fighting Scots’ annals.

Tecca still holds the Archbishop Hoban career scoring mark with 1,135 points. She was North Coast League player of the year twice. Hoban recorded a brilliant 76-18 mark during her prep career.

In addition to a possible WNBA career, Tecca has been receiving overtures to play professionally in Europe.

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00 and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com