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Lauren Nuss didn’t have to look far to find her perfect college fit.
“She is going to be maybe the first [Christ the King] kid who commuted further for high school than she will for college,” Royals basketball Coach Bob Mackey joked.
The senior shooting guard will be just over a mile from home when the Garden City native begins her college career as she verbally committed to Adelphi. Nuss, a dead-eye three-point shooter, fell in love with the campus back in June and felt extremely comfortable with head Coach Heather Jacobs, her staff and system. Nuss, who had interest from Division I schools, picked the Panthers over Queens College, and will receive a partial athletic and academic scholarship.
“My mom said, ‘Oh, good, now I can buy you a bike instead,’” Nuss said.
The Division II school runs in the family. Her father and uncle both graduated from Adelphi and her mother earned her master’s degree there.
She has already met some of the players while attending a few of their workouts. Many of them should be familiar to her. She will be joining fellow local standouts Jenna Halaby (St. Francis Prep), Sade Jackson (Aquinas), Marielle Duryea (Archbishop Molloy), Shannon Flynn (St. Mary’s) and Sam Milhaven (Long Island Lutheran). The school’s small class sizes was also important for Nuss, who wants to major in business.
“It’s real exciting knowing next year that it is going to be me in that jersey, going out to my own song and just celebrating with them,” Nuss said.
She joins a team that went 8-18 in Jacobs’ first season and 5-17 in the Northeast-10, considered one of the best Division II conferences in the country. The level of competition was important to Nuss and it’s a conference Mackey believes she can excel in.
“That was a big part of my decision,” she said. “I wanted to go somewhere where I can play and I can stand out a little bit. I feel like I will be able to get my name out there and get noticed in that conference.”
The Panthers want Nuss to do what she does best at shooting guard. Other schools were interested in her running the point, a position she played all summer with her Exodus II (Conn.) travel team. Nuss plans on improving her game further, while trying to help CK win another Federation crown.
Nuss is a player defenses need to pay attention, too. She is a game-changing shooter when she gets rolling. The 5-foot-9 guard helped the Royals to a state Federation Class AA title as a sophomore. Last year she connected on 7-of-9 three-pointers and scored 25 points in a CHSAA state quarterfinal win over Sacred Heart (Buffalo) and had 19 points and five treys in a victory against nationally ranked Nazareth.
“You’ve got to go out and cover her,” Mackey said. “She is great at stretching defenses out. If a team doesn’t come out and she’s hot it’s going to be a very long night.”
Not quite as long as the commute to Adelphi. Mackey said you can hear the whistle from Adelphi soccer games from Nuss’ house. The local girl is staying in the neighborhood to help her hometown team.
“I think she is going to be a great recruiting tool for Adelphi because here is a home-grown kid from Garden City,” Mackey said. “If she is not the poster child for Adelphi basketball, I’d be very surprised.”
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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