Monday, August 2, 2010
Walczak Commits to UMaine
Oyster River's Danielle Walczak has become the latest athlete from NH to play Division I basketball. The 6'1" forward has committed to play basketball at the University of Maine.
Walczak is the #1 ranked player in the Class of 2011 from NH. She is the reigning Class I Player of the Year, and helped Oyster River win the Class I title as a sophomore. She is a very fundamentally sound player, and inside force scoring and rebounding and can also step out and hit the outside shot. Playing in the America East Conference will be a good fit for Danielle.
Walczak will also now be able to play her entire senior season knowing where she is going to college and not having the stress or pressure of having to impress scouts/coaches every time she takes the floor. She has already impressed the scouts/coaches plenty between playing for Oyster River as well as playing for the NE Crusaders AAU program. Walczak will also be able to play her senior season alongside her younger sister Brenna, an incoming freshman who is already 6'0".
Walczak narrowed down her list of schools to Maine and Fordham. Both schools offered her full basketball scholarships and showed lots of interest. She would see more playing time at Maine being an America East school and Fordham is Atlantic-10.
"In the end, she felt Cindy Blodgett and her program at UMaine was the best fit for her" explained Elaine Walczak, Danielle's mother. "Cindy Blodgett, her staff and the administrators we met with at the University of Maine are class acts. Throughout this years AAU viewing periods someone from UMO was at all of her tournaments. During unofficial campus visits and through telephone calls they took the time to find out about who Danielle was, not just as a basketball player but as a whole person. Cindy's goals for her program matched what Danielle was looking for in a basketball program and in a school. The more she learned about the school, coaches and players the more she felt like it was a great fit" she said.
Danielle has not decided on a major yet, but has interest in journalism, special education and psychology.
As a University of New Hampshire alum, I can't help but scratch my head to hear that Walczak didn't receive more interest from the school (The Black Bears are our arch-rival). Afterall, UNH is located in the same exact town that Danielle plays her high school ball and they have another Oyster River alum already on the roster (Jillian Friel).
According to Elaine Walczak, "In regards to UNH, there was some early general interest, the kind that most athletes get at this level, but I would say she was never on their top list."
Hard to believe that a player who got a full scholarship offer from an A-10 school (Fordham) doesn't make the "top list" of an America East school (UNH). Other than Friel, the New Hampshire women's program has definitely dropped the ball when it comes to recruiting in-state.
From what Danielle's mother has to say about UMaine and Coach Blodgett though, it looks like Walczak is going to just the right school.
Congrats to Danielle, and best of luck to her at Maine!