Local b-baller taking her talent to Red Deer College
Morgan Schultz has known that she wanted to play sports at the collegiate level for some time.
She just thought it would be softball in the United States, not basketball in Canada.
Schultz prepared a series of softball video clips for prospective coaches to view on a website and took her SAT, the American university entrance exam, last year. But nothing felt like the right fit for the 18-year-old George McDougall Grade 12 student.
Then, Dawn Smyth, head coach of the Red Deer College Queens women’s basketball team, began recruiting her during a tournament last fall.
“She approached me after a game and asked me what my plans are for next year,” said Schultz, the Mustangs’ starting point guard. “I didn’t even think about staying for basketball in Canada, but I thought about the offer more and I decided I don’t want to leave home.”
Schultz, who was born in Regina, but moved to Airdrie at a young age, was focused on heading to the U.S., as she’s been playing softball for the past 10 years and heard about the various scholarships opportunities available.
But George Mac’s successful season, and unexpected run to third place at the provincial tournament last month, helped change her mind and eventually led to her to signing with Red Deer.
“At first I wasn’t even going to play basketball this season, so to get third in provincials was amazing,” Schultz said. “I think (the impact) was huge. We started as the underdogs this year and then came out winning. All season, we ended up losing only three games.”
She said her favourite memory in her final season with the Mustangs was playing the second Zones game in front of a raucous crowd, March 18, in what was also her last home game at George McDougall.
“(The atmosphere) was insane,” Schultz said. “It was against Magrath and there was 30 seconds left and I was fouled out, so that moment was probably the most memorable.”
Smyth, who saw Schultz play again during the Mustangs’ Divisional tournament in Cochrane last month, told her she was impressed with her speed, her ball movement and her on-court vision.
Schultz looked at the Red Deer program and decided it fit in with her plans.
“School comes first. As long as I’m doing well with that aspect – the basketball is just extra,” she said.
“(Smyth) actually teaches kinesiology and that’s what I’ll be taking. I heard they had a great kinesiology program up there; it’s two years and then I can transfer to U of C, or U of L or U of A. (Smyth) said if I still want to keep playing, I have a good chance to play at that level as well, so, I’ll definitely think about doing that.”