Saturday, October 8, 2011

Elezovic Commits to UMass Lowell

Former Boston College standout Sarah Behn has only been the women's basketball head coach at UMass Lowell since April, but she has already landed two NH girls as part of her first recruiting class. First it was Melissa Frase (New Hampton School) who committed to Lowell back in July. And just this week Manchester Memorial's Amra Elezovic became Coach Behn's latest recruit from the Class of 2012, as she made a verbal commitment to the River Hawks, who play in the highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference in Division II.

The 5'11" Elezovic was a 2nd team all-state player last year as a junior, and led the Crusaders to the Division I semi-finals. She is a match up nightmare with her size and ability to hit outside shots and slash to the basket. Elezovic can play virtually all 5 positions on the floor.

"I chose UMass Lowell because I felt that it was a good fit for me both academically and athletically" Elezovic told the New Hampshire Notebook.

UMass Lowell went 9-18 in 2010-2011, but they return 4 starters and 13 players from last season.

"It is a young team with a new coach that I think has a bright future" said Elezovic. "During my visit to UMass Lowell I found Coach Behn to be someone who I liked and respected. I felt as if I could develop a good rapport with her."

Academics were also a big reason for Elezovic choosing UMass Lowell.

"The flexibility of the school’s curriculum allows me to not have to commit to a major right away" said Elezovic, who is expected to be a Player of the Year canndidate this winter in Division I girls basketball. "Because truthfully, although I have a general idea of what I would like to do, I am not ready to be too specific yet. Right now I am interested in a wide range of studies – from the Criminal Justice area to teaching Special Education."

Elezovic has been one of the NHIAA's top players over the last couple of years, but her versatility is what really make her an intriguing player at the next level.

"I think that the flexibility that I have been given position-wise has allowed me to develop multiple skills" Elezovic explained. "I would like to thank my middle-school coaches, Amy Stilphen and Kevin Barry, for getting me started in the game of basketball and developing my first real interest in it. Coach Quirk, my high school coach, for helping me develop not only as an athlete but also as a person, Coach Leonard (asst. coach at Memorial) for also sticking with me and helping get through some difficult times, and Coach Hazelton, my present AAU coach, for helping me to get to the point where I am at now."

Elezovic had a big junior season for Memorial, then followed that up with a dominating performance in the NH Notebook/BST Basketball's North vs. South Clash event. Then this spring and summer she played on the AAU circuit with the NH Rivals, coached by Scott Hazelton.

"Amra is a very good player with a huge upside" said Hazelton, who was hired as the new girls basketball coach at Bishop Guertin over the summer. "She made large strides over the summer and attracted the eyes of many college coaches. She is a 5'11" guard who can score from the outside, but also take it down low. She runs the floor, and has excellent court vision. Amra is a very competitive player on the court who will do what it takes to win. She will fit in great in the NE-10 Conference, and with UMass Lowell's system. I am excited she will have the opportunity to play for such a great coach, Sarah Behn, and alongside fellow Rival, Melissa Frase."

Even with all of her success on the court, Elezovic still feels as though she can get better.

"My game has developed gradually over the past few years and I honestly feel that I can still make a drastic improvement in it" said Elezovic. "I want to work to refine my skills and to become more of a leader on the court."

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