Sport: For commit Saylor Poffenbarger, picking UConn has been a dream realized: 'I fell in love from the beginning' - PressFrom - US
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SportFor commit Saylor Poffenbarger, picking UConn has been a dream realized: 'I fell in love from the beginning'

00:35  20 july  2019
00:35  20 july  2019 Source:   latimes.com

Transfer RJ Cole taking aim at high-major competition for UConn

Transfer RJ Cole taking aim at high-major competition for UConn HARTFORD, Conn. - The recruiting process was over, but RJ Cole kept getting better. "Of the kids I had the last 25 years or so," Bob Hurley Sr. said, "the two best senior years were Danny and RJ." Danny, of course, is Hurley's son, the UConn coach, who played at St. Anthony's in Jersey City before going on to Seton Hall in the early 1990s. Cole had already committed to Howard University before beginning his senior season for Bob Sr., the Hall of Fame coach at St. Anthony’s, in 2016-17, the school’s final season. “In the time that Danny was playing, recruiting went on during the high school season,” Bob Sr. continued, “so you were rewarded for performance.

UConn recruit Saylor Poffenbarger averaged 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game for Team USA in Chile. Poffenbarger said she has felt a connection with UConn coach Geno Auriemma since the recruiting process started. After talking with him Wednesday afternoon, she was ready to commit .

The UConn women’s basketball team got its first Class of 2021 commitment Thursday, as Middletown, Maryland guard Saylor Poffenbarger announced The news follows a string of 2020 commitments for Auriemma. Paige Bueckers, the top player in the 2020 class, has committed , along with Croatian

For commit Saylor Poffenbarger, picking UConn has been a dream realized: 'I fell in love from the beginning'© Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/TNS Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma speaks at a news conference following practice at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., on Saturday, March 30, 2019.

HARTFORD, Conn. - Long before Geno Auriemma ever had Saylor Poffenbarger on his radar, the UConn women's basketball coach already had a recruiting pitch in place for her.

Poffenbarger, a rising junior at Middletown High in Maryland, and the No. 21 player in ESPN's Class of 2021 rankings, has early memories of watching the Huskies on television. Stefanie Dolson and Breanna Stewart were two of her favorite players, but Maya Moore always trumped all others for her.

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I Fell in Love is a studio album, released in 1990 by American country singer Carlene Carter. This was the highest-ranking Billboard album of her career, at #19 on the US Country charts. Four singles from the album also charted, with the title song " I Fell in Love

" I Have a Dream " is a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963

"I fell in love from the beginning," Poffenbarger said. "And I've always ever since been like, 'UConn, UConn, UConn, I want to be like Maya Moore, I want to play for Geno.' "

When Auriemma came calling two years ago to begin the recruiting process, she described the feeling as surreal.

"I never thought I could be that little kid out of a small town that wanted to be just like Maya Moore, and now it's more of a reality," Poffenbarger said.

On Wednesday, she called Auriemma and declared her intention to commit to UConn. On Thursday, after calling the five other coaches who she felt she had the closest relationships with to tell them she'd be going elsewhere, she announced her decision to the world.

Poffenbarger is UConn's first commitment from the class of 2021. She joins top 2020 recruit Paige Bueckers, Croatian guard Nika Muhl and Maryland native Mir McLean as newcomers who have committed to UConn since the end of the 2018-19 season.

Marquette nets 4-star recruit Lewis

Marquette nets 4-star recruit Lewis Four-star recruit Justin Lewis verbally committed to Marquette, he told 247Sports' Evan Daniels on Wednesday. The Baltimore native was the 59th-ranked prospect in ESPN's Class of 2020 and received interest from multiple schools, including UConn and Virginia Tech. "I picked Marquette because when I went on my visit I liked it," Lewis said. "I loved it. At first I was second-guessing it, as far as distance, because it was far in Milwaukee, but after I went on the visit I had fun. I got to know the guys a little bit, see how the program is, and it changed my whole mindset about the place." Lewis thrived on the Nike EYBL circuit, averaging 18.3 points and 9.

Saying “ I love you” is sometimes the hardest three words for a guy to blurt out. Maybe he’s holding off on saying it because of the emotional scars that are still healing from a past relationship, or perhaps he’s cautious about telling you how he really feels because he’s not sure if you feel the same way.

Falling in love is like looking at the stars. If you pick one out of the billions and stare at it long enough all the others will melt away. I love all the adventures we have together. As busy as we get, we need to be reminded that we are still sweethearts.

Moore drew Poffenbarger to UConn, both for on-court, and off-court reasons. Moore's playing style - which Poffenbarger has since tried to replicate from a do-it-all standpoint - was great, but Poffenbarger most enjoyed how she interacted with her teammates, coaches and fans.

Poffenbarger's relationship with Auriemma then sealed the deal.

"I just felt like I really connected with Geno, because I feel like he could pull all the potential out of me," Poffenbarger said. "With the goals and dreams I have, I feel like he can get the most potential out of me."

"I just feel like as we talked more and connected more, it just like started to feel right. I could play for him, I want to play for him."

Her first trip to UConn in 2018, following her freshman year at Middletown, was more of a surface level, introductory visit. Her second, this past February, was all business, where Auriemma and his staff laid out more concrete plans and approached the idea of Poffenbarger committing.

UConn will pay $17M to leave AAC after 2019 season, be FBS independent

UConn will pay $17M to leave AAC after 2019 season, be FBS independent The UConn Huskies will pay the AAC to exit the conference and become an FBS independent after the 2019 season.

He talked about me being a " dream girl". I was so innocent that I instantly assumed he meant I was too dreamy and that I should concentrate more in Eventually, he must have seen the look of horror on my face and retreated back to his car. I realised that coming to see the neighbour had been a ruse.

Most of the participants fell in love with funny people who have beautiful eyes, great smiles, listen well, and The pizza place was about three blocks from the house so he just walked to pick it up. But the moment I truly realized I love him was when both of us were on the couch, laughing until we both

In Poffenbarger's mind, she was ready to commit. Her mother, Amy, who played at Missouri and is now Saylor's high school coach, still thought she was a bit young, and wanted her to play out a season on the Nike EYBL circuit. If her mind was still made up following the spring with the Fairfax Stars, Amy said, she was free to commit.

The summer arrived, and Poffenbarger's decision hadn't wavered.

"My heart was set on UConn," she said. "And I didn't think it was fair to these other coaches to waste their time and come out and visit. I knew since last year that I wanted to make a decision either before my junior year or in the middle of it. I just felt yesterday, 'I'm going to do it.' My heart is set, I'm not going to wait any longer."

Poffenbarger described her play style as versatile. Through two high school seasons, she's already totaled 1,109 points, 597 rebounds, 207 assists, 137 steals and 149 blocked shots. She averaged 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists over 18.4 minutes for Team USA in last month's FIBA U-16 America's Women's Championship.

Poffenbarger will have two more seasons to refine her game before college where she will continue to work on being more than just a scorer.

Mike Anthony: $17 million AAC exit fee a wise investment for UConn

Mike Anthony: $17 million AAC exit fee a wise investment for UConn There's an old saying that lawyers and miserable spouses like to throw around. Why is divorce so expensive? Because it's worth it. Seventeen million dollars. That is the exit fee UConn will pay to the American Athletic Conference in order to depart for the Big East in 2020. Why is this move so expensive? Because it's worth it. Paying so much to move from one athletic existence to the next is less than ideal, particularly in a financial climate that features an increasingly large gap between athletic revenue and expenses. But it is necessary. Because it is an investment.

Be part of the world’s largest community of book lovers on Goodreads. “You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams .” ― Dr. Seuss. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

John Green. “ Falling in love is great. It colors your whole world and makes your days inspiring. But for some reason, some people find it too scary. “ Falling in love doesn't fall by itself. There is always a desire to take the plunge. Just make sure that love sticks around, to pick you up when you fall .

"I feel like that's kind of what sets me apart - the little things that I do," she said. "It's more of like crashing the boards, boxing out to the weak side, getting the weak side rebounds, setting good screens ... along with being able to shoot the three and score and get to the basket and defend their best player."

She looks forward to playing stress-free, knowing that she won't be constantly under the eye of scouts, or worried about which coaches came to see her on which nights. She knows that while at Middletown, one off game in front of the wrong person won't sink her status as a recruit.

She knows, though, that it won't be the same in Storrs.

"I called (Auriemma) and I was like, 'Hey coach, where do you see me playing?' " Poffenbarger said. "And he's like, 'I have no idea. You're not here, you haven't gone against our team.' I like that about him, because nothing is given to you. I feel like that will kind of help me ease my nerves, because you can always control how hard you work, and that will help."

Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com

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For commit Saylor Poffenbarger, picking UConn has been a dream realized: 'I fell in love from the beginning'

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