Whether it was a basketball or soccer ball, Jess Strom found the net with amazing regularity in her career at Steel Valley High School.
Strom was one of the greatest two-sport athletes in WPIAL history, scoring more than 2,800 points in basketball and 205 goals in soccer. Her goal total in soccer is still a WPIAL record.
But basketball was Strom's best sport. A 2001 Steel Valley graduate, she finished her basketball career with 2,840 points, fourth best in WPIAL history. A 5-foot-7 guard, Strom was a two-time Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 selection and led the WPIAL in scoring in both her junior and senior years. As a senior, she averaged 28.2 points, shot 56 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
Strom went on to a distinguished basketball career at Penn State, where she was a three-time All-Big Ten selection. She finished her career as one of only four Penn State players to have 1,000 points and 750 assists. She also had 310 steals and 191 3-pointers.
Strom is now in her second season as the women's basketball coach at California University of Pennsylvania. She became the interim coach last season and was named the permanent coach last summer. California has a 10-4 record, 6-4 in the Pennsylvania State Athleteic Conference. Strom was selected to the WPIAL Hall of Fame last summer.