Bishop Ryan is go­ing Norse

Sought-af­ter Reece Mun­gar off to North­ern Ken­tucky Univer­sity

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - CECELIA CARTER SMITH Cecelia Carter Smith is a for­mer four­time Cana­dian and world in­door record-holder in track and is a mem­ber of the Hamil­ton Sports Hall of Fame and McMaster Univer­sity Sports Hall of Fame.

Stoney Creek’s Reece Mun­gar will be pack­ing her gym bag later this sum­mer and head­ing to the Blue­grass State where she will suit up for the NCAA D1 North­ern Ken­tucky Univer­sity (NKU) Norse women’s bas­ket­ball team.

Mun­gar is good. Re­ally good. She has Olympic DNA.

Her dad, Barry, suited up for Canada at the 1988 Sum­mer Games in Seoul. Prior to the in­ter­na­tional stage, the High­land Se­condary School grad played for the St. Bon­aven­ture Bon­nies where he earned First Team All-At­lantic 10 All Star sta­tus and was drafted by the NBA Wash­ing­ton Bul­lets.

“My dad has al­ways been a huge in­spi­ra­tion,” said the Bishop Ryan CSS Celtic. “His bas­ket­ball ac­com­plish­ments def­i­nitely mo­ti­vated me.”

The tal­ented Mun­gar was heav­ily re­cruited by a num­ber of NCAA schools.

“(NKU coach) Cam­ryn Whi­taker clearly wanted Reece,” said BR bench boss Kevin Daly. “She came up to a prac­tice even be­fore Reece was able to prac­tise (due to an in­jury). When Reece was back to full health, Coach Whi­taker came up to watch her play (against Bre­beuf ).”

Mun­gar is among six re­cruits signed to play for the Norse.

In a news re­lease from The North­erner, the NKU coach said, “Reece can play mul­ti­ple po­si­tions. She is very ver­sa­tile. She can play in the post or step out and shoot the ball in the perime­ter. I am ex­cited about her ver­sa­til­ity and her abil­ity to score.”

Mun­gar av­er­aged close to 20 points per game and pulled down 11 re­bounds in her se­nior Celtics sea­son.

The re­cruit­ing and de­ci­sion­mak­ing process was rig­or­ous. Mun­gar vis­ited a num­ber of cam­puses.

But there was some­thing special about the High­land Heights cam­pus in Ken­tucky.

“Coach Whi­taker, her as­sis­tants and the play­ers were ex­tremely wel­com­ing (on my visit),” said Mun­gar. “The at­mos­phere made me feel very com­fort­able.”

On the flight home (with her dad) she knew that NKU was the right fit.

“I re­mem­ber my dad turn­ing to me and ask­ing me what I thought about the visit. I in­stantly started cry­ing happy tears be­cause I knew this was the place for me.”

And the six-foot-two ver­sa­tile player has an op­por­tu­nity to make an im­me­di­ate im­pact on the Norse pro­gram that tran­si­tioned from NCAA D11 to D1 in 2016.

“Coach Whi­taker has shared with me that her coach­ing staff be­lieve that if I per­form the way they ex­pect me to I will play a lot and pos­si­bly start,” said the for­mer Tran­sway Juel player.

“This is one of the im­por­tant rea­sons I chose NKU. I wanted to be val­ued and cher­ished at the school, rather than be­ing on the end of the bench for a few years.”

The 17-year-old’s ca­reer as a Norse-woman will be­gin in mid July when she heads to NKU for two weeks of train­ing.

Sum­mer plans in­clude strength train­ing, agility drills, speed work and a stren­u­ous four-week run­ning pro­gram de­signed by the NKU strength and con­di­tion­ing coach.

Mun­gar has tar­geted Hori­zon League Con­fer­ence “Rookie of the Year” and “Rookie All-Star Team” hon­ours in her fresh­man sea­son. Both ap­pear at­tain­able.

“Coach Whi­taker be­lieves I can do it as long as I con­tinue to work hard,” said Mun­gar.

“It’s in my hands.”

GERRY GRAHAM PHOTO

Bishop Ryan Celtics’ Reece Mun­gar has signed an NCAA D1 bas­ket­ball schol­ar­ship to at­tend North­ern Ken­tucky Univer­sity. Her dad, Barry, suited up for Canada at the 1988 Sum­mer Games in Seoul.

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