Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gilligan Commits to Augustana

All of the hard work Devin Gilligan (Amherst, NH) has put in over the years on the court and in the classroom has paid off, and the result is a basketball scholarship. Gilligan, a 6-foot-5 senior wing player from Kimball Union Academy, has officially committed to Augustana College.

"Augustana is a private liberal arts college located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota" Gilligan told the NH Notebook in a recent interview. "They compete in the Northern Sun intercollegiate Conference, which is widely considered the top D-II conference in the country."

Gilligan is one of the Granite State's top recruits from the Class of 2013. He reclassified to 2013 when he transferred to KUA from Souhegan High following his junior year. He has tirelessly worked on his game over the years to become a scholarship player, and has gained additional exposure by playing with the Bishop Elite program for the past 2 years on the AAU circuit.

"Augustana started to recruit me a few weeks back when they had a scholarship open up" Gilligan explained. "Throughout the recruiting process I had been hearing from schools such as Pepperdine, Air Force, Assumption, Jacksonville, Pfeiffer, Texas Pan American, Central Connecticut and NJIT among others. I had four scholarship offers but in the end I decided that the outstanding combination of academics and athletics as well as the coaching staff, fan support and unbelievable facilities that Augustana had to offer was on another level then any of the other schools."

There was a connection between the coaches at KUA and Augustana that helped Gilligan get noticed.

"When my KUA team went out to Scotland and London to play this summer, Coach Trumbauer who is the head assistant at Augustana and had previously coached with Coach Olsen came on the trip with us" said Gilligan. "He liked how I played and when a scholarship opened up at Augustana they offered it to me. As for going to school so far from home I think being at prep school for the last two years at KUA has prepared me well and I’ll be ready to move out to the Midwest."

Gilligan went on an official visit to Augustana and shortly after is wen he made his commitment.

"After speaking to Coach Bilitier and Coach Trumbauer while on my visit they were both confident that I’ll be able to come in right away and play" said Gilligan, who plans on majoring in education at Augustana. "I'm not exactly sure what role they’ll have me in freshman year but what ever it is I’ll be ready to come in, give it my all and help the team win."

Gilligan's development as a player has been in large part due to playing with the Bishop Elite, where he was coached by TJ Thompson and Sudi Lett.

"I've had the pleasure of training and coaching Devin for the last two years" said TJ Thompson, who has played professionally in Europe. "Devin is a blue collar worker meaning he has a unbelievable work ethic and truly loves the game. I couldn't be happier to see all his hard work pay off with this opportunity to play for one of the top D-II programs in the country. When I first met Devin, there were a lot of people who doubted his abilities to play at the collegiate level. I am very proud of Devin for standing up to that challenge, working hard, staying tough mentally and proving he is a player to be reckoned with all while maintaining that same modest, funny and kind spirit that he is known for amongst friends and family."

Gilligan is a versatile wing player who can score from beyond the arc or off the bounce. He has a deadly spin move in the lane to get by his man and get to the rim, but has also added a variety of other moves to his arsenal over the past couple of years. He has hit the weight room hard to get in great shape and now has a college ready frame. Gilligan has also greatly improved his defense and rebounding.

"Playing for the Bishop was a great experience" said Gilligan, whose father Rick played his college ball at Norwich University. "The exposure that our team received as well as the level of play is unmatched in the state of New Hampshire. TJ and Sudi did a lot for me over the last couple years. I started going to the clinics that Sudi ran at the Bishop my sophomore year and that was when I began to focus on my game and work on improving my skills. As for TJ I can’t even begin to give enough credit to him. When he started coaching me after my junior year at Souhegan he told me that if I listened to him and worked hard I would get a free education. I worked out with him everyday each of the last two summers and it really took my game to another level. I can’t thank either of them, Coach Terry Mann, Ilima Thompson and everyone else from the Bishop enough for helping me get to this point."

In addition to the Bishop coaches, Coach Olson at KUA has also bee instrumental in helping Gilligan to reach the next level.

"Devin Gilligan is the epitome of 'team-oriented', he does all the little things to help you WIN" said Kimball Union head coach Mike Olson via Twitter. "Glue guy that will help Augustana College. Augie combines outstanding athletics with academics. A perfect fit!"

Gilligan was a good high school player at Souhegan, but he really took his game to the next level when he decided to go prep and transfer to Kimball Union.

Transferring to KUA was a tough decision for me as I really enjoyed my time at Souhegan, but once I got there I knew it was a good decision. The time that I have spent at KUA has helped me in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. From an academic side the schoolwork is much more challenging but all the teachers here want to help their students reach their goals and see them all succeed. As far as basketball, playing for Coach Olsen has been great. Since getting to KUA I feel that I have definitely improved my overall game a lot as well as received exposure that I wouldn’t have gotten if I hadn’t transferred. Playing on a team with so many talented players and playing for such a great Coach has been an experience that I am very lucky to have had and have benefited from tremendously."

The bottom line is Gilligan is a gym rat with a genuine love for the game as basketball. He always had potential but over the last few years he has worked hard to become one of the area's most sought after prospects.

"In my opinion, Devin was a late bloomer who has yet to come close to tapping into his full potential" said Coach Thompson. "Augustana has added a huge asset to their lineup with a player like Devin who will bring a winners mentality, leadership and a very unique and impressive work ethic to their program. I am proud to have taken part in this outstanding young mans life on and off the court. The skys the limit for Devin at Augustana and I look forward to helping him continue to make this transition and will enjoy watching him excel at the next level."

Congratulations to Devin, and we wish him the best of luck at Augustana!

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