How did Anne Bair celebrate receiving an NCAA Division I basketball scholarship offer?
By playing basketball, of course.
The Gettysburg junior wrapped up a practice Thursday evening before stepping off the court and sharing her thoughts regarding the scholarship extended by Siena College.
“It’s definitely been a goal of mine to play Division I basketball and I am super grateful for this opportunity,” she said. “I had a Zoom call with the whole staff and my parents for like an hour and a half, and then they offered me a scholarship. I’m really excited.”
The fact that Bair celebrated by putting in more court time speaks to her work ethic and desire to improve. Coming off a freshman season that could be called nothing but a success, she attacked specific areas that would help her improve, and in turn benefit the team.
“I worked on expanding my game at different levels,” she said. “I’ve always been a defensive-minded person but I really got after it and put pressure on the other team’s best players and guards. I’m more confident shooting from three and I averaged more assists my sophomore year from my freshman year. I got to work with those girls and we knew each other really well and had great chemistry.”
Bair became the ultimate floor general, averaging 10.2 points, 6.5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals per game. She preferred distributing the ball to open teammates, but had the ability to take over on the offensive end when needed.
Gettysburg rolled to a 21-1 regular season and placed second in the YAIAA Tournament. Bair and Co. stormed through the District 3 Championships, downing Twin Valley, 46-40, to secure the program’s first district title. Gettysburg worked past West Chester East and Abington Heights to move into the state quarterfinals before the season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic has also thrown a considerable monkey wrench into the recruiting process, but Bair remains positive. She hasn’t been able to visit Siena, located in Loudonville, NY. The Saints are a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
“Recruting is not what I epected because of coronavirus but I’m talking to a good amount of schools and I’m enjoying it,” she said. “It’s been awesome talking with different coaches from a variety of programs. I’m super excited to get on Siena’s campus and other schools as well. I wish I could visit campsuses, but luckily there area a lot of virtual options.”
Bair is playing AAU basketball for Team Pennsylvania this summer in addition to open-gym workouts at Gettysburg. She averages five practices per week, and has competed in a few tournaments thus far.
Fueled by her determination, she’s attacking specific areas each time she laces up her sneakers.
“I still want to improve my ballhandling skills and finishing my shooting,” she said. “And my rebounding. We’re losing a lot of size and I have to be a contributor on the boards. Even at my size that’s important because if I get a rebound we can play faster, which is a focus for us.”
MOUNT OFFERS HAUGH: It isn’t just Tommy Haugh’s stock that is growing, it’s also Tommy Haugh that continues to grow.
The New Oxford junior added two more inches to his frame to reach 6-8, which is superior size for a guard/forward. Haugh is hoping to take that size and his skills to the NCAA Division I level, and that hope is turning into a reality.
Last week Haugh received a scholarship offer to play basketball at Mount St. Mary’s University. Haugh received a call from Mountaineers head coach Dan Engelstad, who extended the offer.
“I was like, ‘oh geez, no way,’” he said. “I was really excited. That was my goal since I was little, to get a Division I scholarship. It’s great to get that first offer and hopefully more will come, but I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Haugh enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in which he averaged 7.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for a Colonial team that went 26-5. New Oxford placed third in the District 3-5A tournament before scoring wins over Thomas Jefferson and York Suburban in the PIAA Championships. A quarterfinal clash against Milton Hershey never happened thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Haugh believes his emergence was due in part to his improved shooting.
“I gained a lot with my shooting,” he said. “I was a shooter in ninth grade but never really practiced it. Since the first game of my sophomore season it just kept improving.”
Haugh said he spends considerable time fine-tuning his form, aiming to get 500 made shots and 50 made free throws each day.
This summer he is playing for Philly Pride, an AAU team based near King of Prussia. He said there are several tournaments scheduled in the coming weeks, coupled with the open gym workouts he’s been getting with his New Oxford teammates.
Haugh is happy to have an initial DI offer in hand and believes there could me more to come, but is equally excited about the prospects for the Colonials next season.
“The experience that we all gained, hopefully some of that and momentum will carry over to this year,” he said.
DUCKS JUMP IN: Gettysburg’s Quadir Copeland recently picked up a scholarship offer from Penn State University following a monstrous junior basketball season in which he average 22 points and 11 rebounds per game. The 6-5 guard already had offers from LaSalle and Siena on the table before the Nittany Lions made their intentions known.
Add Oregon to the list of suitors.
The Ducks are now in play for the Warrior star, who said several schools including Michigan, Miami and Maryland have also shown interest.