UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Notre Dame junior Emily Durr has verbally committed to play basketball at Iowa State, beginning in the fall of 2014. The 2013 Sports Express Girls Basketball Player of the Year, as well as four time All-Star, spoke with NEWSChannel 2 about why she's heading to Ames.
"The distance is pretty far, but overall I thought it was a great experience," Durr said. "I love the coaching staff, I love the atmosphere and I think that's why I chose Iowa State. Ames is a college town and they love their sports, women's basketball. So it was an easy choice once I took the tour, the trip out there."
Lady Jugglers head coach Mike Plonisch says between 30 and 40 Division I schools recruited Durr, but the Cyclones were the perfect "fit."
"They sent her puzzle pieces and once it was filled up, it was a picture of Emily in a Cyclones uniform," says Plonisch. "They didn't have to say anything. They sent the right things, I had great conversations with the assistant coach, he came to one of our games, his son, Billy Fennelly Jr. The head coach came to our Westhill game. He told me, 'Mike I make one big trip a year and this is it.'"
"The process was stressful at times, coaches calling you nonstop, almost every day," adds Durr. "They email you, they send you letters. It would take me an hour each day to go through everything. Mixed with school and varsity basketball it gets tough. But I had a great family, great supporting cast. It was great to have them helping me through it, but I'm glad it's over."
Both Durr and Plonisch credit Emily's father, Mike Durr, who is also the head coach of the Jugglers boys basketball team, for assisting in the process of selecting the right school. Emily also told NEWSChannel 2 that her brother Pete, an assistant for the Union men's team, helped a great deal as well.
But she also gives her many teammates over the years, especially those from the 2013 Section III Class B champs, with helping her shine in her already four seasons of varsity hoops.
"The whole experience has been amazing," says Durr. "I never thought in a million years I'd get this far, with such tremendous talent and going to do big things like I'm going to in the future."
Durr will offcially sign her letter of intent this November, but is excited for her senior season, where the Juggler only lose one starter to graduation. Both Emily and Coach Plonisch are readying for not only another section title, but a possible run at states.