Friday, May 20, 2011

McDonnell Commits to UNH

Tommy McDonnell is living proof that hard work, dedication and challenging yourself athletically by going to prep school can help you achieve your goals of playing sports at the next level. The 6'3" combo-guard, and former standout at Oyster River High has committed to play basketball at the University of New Hampshire.

McDonnell did a post-grad year this past season at Bridgton Academy in Maine. UNH is a Division I school that plays in the America East Conference. The team announced him as one of their 3 latest recruits on their website on Thursday. McDonnell's father Sean has been the head football coach at New Hampshire for 13 seasons.

"My decision basically came down to getting a few D2 offers, but ultimately deciding that I want to play Division 1" McDonnell told the NH Notebook on Friday. "UNH was just a great fit with the coaching staff, location, and everything. The team is great, they all seem to get along with each other and most importantly everyone's competing to get better each and every day."

McDonnell was a a first team all-state selection as a senior at Oyster River during the 2009-2010 season. He led the Bobcats to the Class I (Division II) semi-finals. He was also a member of the 2010 NH Rotary team that took on Vermont. To prepare himself for the college game and get in better position to be a scholarship player, McDonnell decided to do a post-grad year at Bridgton. Bridgton is a basketball powerhouse which competes in the NEPSAC, arguably the top prep school conference in the country for basketball.

The PG year helped my game dramatically" said McDonnell, who averaged 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals per game this winter at Bridgton. "I learned how to play defense seriously every possession, I learned to get more physical, and was able to play against some of the best players in the nation. I think overall my game has just gotten stronger through improved size in the weight room, playing harder, and improving my jump shot."

For those who don't know, Oyster River and UNH are both located in the same town (Durham, NH), so McDonnell is truly a local recruit for head coach Bill Herrion. The only other NH product on the Wildcat's roster is sophomore guard Ryan Herrion. Herrion is a former standout at Dover High and is the son of Coach Herrion.

Congrats to Tommy, and best of luck at UNH!

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