There was an immediate comfort level for Hun School basketball point guard Jackie Mullen on the Arcadia campus.
“It reminded me of Hun,” she said. “There were not too many people. There was a small class size. It wouldn’t be that hard adjusting.”
The Ozone Park native verbally committed to the Division III, Glenside, Pa., school in late March, choosing it over NYIT, Moravian and Juniata. Mullen first saw the school in December and went for an overnight visit over spring break. She was immediately impressed with the school’s smaller size and its closeness to home — just two hours.
“I liked the coach,” Mullen said. “She was a really cool person [along with] a couple of the girls on the team that I met and the style of play that Arcadia has is going to be a good fit for me.”
Arcadia just hired former Centenary College Coach Lorie Khalil, who has a history of building programs, to turn around its team. The Knights went 3-21 and didn’t win a Middle Atlantic Conference game. Mullen feels she can excel in Khalil’s up-tempo approach and believes she can vie for a starting job.
“This coach is rebuilding the program from scratch,” said Mullen, who wants to study business management. “She is trying to get players who are going to be able to fit into her system.”
She was a member of Christ the King’s 2010 state Federation Class AA title team, transferred to The Hun School as a junior and did a post-grad year at the Princeton, N.J., institution. She transformed her game there from just a pure shooter into a complete point guard with the ability to run a team under Coach Bill Holup. She helped lead Hun to a semifinal berth in the MAPL tournament and lost in the state Prep A final. Both defeats were to Blair Academy.
“It’s basically like stepping into a college,” Mullen said of her time at Hun. “Academically I am more prepared than I was and athletically I got the extra year.”
Mullen has worked with famed basketball trainer Jerry Powell and speed and conditioning coach Britton Kelley twice a week. The 3-mile runs in most workouts have improved her overall conditioning and the quickness of her step.
She feels he is prepared to take her first step onto a college campus and contribute.
“[With] the group of people that were there,” Mullen said, “I felt more at home.”
©2012 Community News Group
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