News-Sun file photo by DAN HOEHNE Lady Dragon standout Alex Coyne agreed to take her talents to Southern Mississippi on a basketball scholarship Wednesday.
published: Friday, November 16, 2012
Coyne to take flight with Golden Eagles
By DAN HOEHNE
Alex Coyne had a lot of options and a crucial decision to make.
But when it came down to it, the choice wasn't so tough after all as the Lake Placid senior signed on the dotted line Wednesday to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and be a member of the Golden Eagle basketball team.
"I was considering the Academies and other Division I colleges," Coyne said. "Cleveland State, Florida Southern, Air Force and West Point made offers. But after my official visit with Southern Mississippi, my decision was made."
This quick decision making is reminiscent of the point guard's game that paved the way to averaging 14.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.5 steals per game as a Dragon junior, and certainly had her on the radar of many schools.
And much like eyeing an open teammate, or an open shot, Coyne just went with the instinctual feeling as to what to do.
"I immediately felt accepted by the players and the coaching staff," she said. "When I played with them at a little open gym, I felt team chemistry.
"The campus was absolutely gorgeous and the academics are awesome," Coyne continued. "And after I left, the team continued to keep in touch via Facebook, twitter and texting. It showed me that I wasn't just another recruit to them."
While undecided on a field of study, she noted the many major and minor opportunities Southern Miss offers, which will give her the chance to find her academic calling.
"I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to be a student athlete, and student comes first," she said. "So this paying for my education is absolutely key. I can't wait to grow as a person on and off the court."
Which, as far as on the court goes, will be a bit of a process as the Eagles point guard duties currently reside in other hands.
"They have a point guard that will be a senior and lead Conference USA in steals last year," Coyne said. "She's an incredible player and I think I can learn a lot from her, which will help me develop into a true Division I point guard."
And while she eagerly looks ahead, Coyne feels a great sense of relief and gratitude for what has made this opportunity possible.
"All the sacrifices I made as a child. All the blood, sweat and tears go to this," she said. "Without my parents pushing me every day, I wouldn't be the player I am."
The reminiscing done, it was again time to look ahead.
"Going off to college is learning to be independent, although I'm so family oriented," Coyne said. "But my two days (at Southern Mississippi) felt like a home away from home. It was such a family atmosphere and the team treated me like their baby sister. I couldn't ask for a better situation."
Small Banner Ads