Engel narrows college choices to 3 (Basketball)

August 28, 2010
Keiahnna Engle

After playing more summer league games than an NBA player, Anchorage’s Keiahnna Engel got home to find as many as 15 college offers waiting for her.

Engel, of Dimond High fame, logged some 100 games in local and national tournaments with her AAU traveling team Tree of Hope out of Washington, and she estimated winning close to 80 of them.

“The experience was really good. It was tough at some points, but the teammates I had were really cool,” she told me. “We all got along. When we got into a funk we came together as a team and fought through it. Toward the end your body gets physically tired and so then your mind gets tired, but you had to suck it up.”

The 5-foot-8 guard is the reigning Alaska Player of the Year as she enters her senior season. She averaged 22 points a game as a junior, although that was her summer-high total with Tree of Hope in large part because her role was different.

“I was more of a defensive person and assist person than I am for my high school team where I’m a scorer,” she said. “It was kind of a tough transition, but I got used to it. At some point in time you’re going to have to give up the ball. If one of your teammates is on fire you have to give it up and get them the ball. I accepted my role and I did the best I could with it.”

Her win-at-all-cost attitude didn’t go unnoticed.

Engel’s Outside exposure helped her get recognized by a number of colleges, many of which were NCAA Division I schools.

Offers poured in from more than a dozen universities, but she recently narrowed her wish list down to three: Boise State, Seattle University and Portland State.

She won’t divulge any details other than one of those three schools with win the Engel lottery.

“We’ll see what happens when I start going on visits next month,” she said.

Engel, 17, said the recruiting process has been stressful because she’s trying so hard to please everybody.

“At the beginning it’s really cool, but I’m going to be honest, I hate the process. I really do,” said. “Most of the coaches are really open-minded and they tell it like it is, and they keep it honest. It’s like a business deal.”

That’s why she plans to make a decision by the NCAA’s early signing period Nov. 10-17.

“If you don’t accept an offer then someone right behind you will, so you kind of have to get your choice down real quick,” Engel said. “I think the earlier I get it down the less stress it’s going to be on me and I can just have a good senior basketball season.”

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