TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — The goal was always there, now the destination is set.
On Monday at Eastern High School, senior Elizabeth Collins signed her National Letter of Intent to join the Siena Heights women’s basketball team next season.
“I’ve wanted to play in college since I was little, I just didn’t know where, now I know where,” Collins said. “I went there for a visit and it was fun. There weren’t a lot of kids on campus because they were on spring break, but I got to meet some of the girls. They were nice and they were really funny.”
In four seasons at Eastern, Collins has helped the Lady Eagles to a 72-26 record with four sectional titles and one district championship. After being coached by John Burdette in her first two seasons, Collins was been coached by Jacob Parker in her junior and senior campaigns.
“She’s meant a great deal, she comes in and works hard every day,” Parker said. “She really stepped up this year as a senior, and took freshmen under her wing. She tried to show them the ropes and show them how to work hard. Of course, her scoring and rebounding was essential for our team.
“I think she’s going to do great, she works hard and she has that killer instinct. She’s competitive and that’s what you need at the next level. I think she’s going to go in, try to prove herself early and work hard. She’s super coachable and has a great attitude. I don’t think you could ask for a better person to go to the next level and represent Eastern.”
Collins averaged a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds her senior season at EHS, after averaging 10 points per game and a junior and 5.5 points per game as a sophomore.
A three-time All-Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division selection, and a two-time All-Ohio honorable mention, Collins was an All-Southeast District selection all-4 years. Elizabeth was an all-district special mention as a freshman, a third teamer as a sophomore and a second teamer in both her junior and senior seasons.
Collins credits her coaches and working in the gym every day, as well as playing travel ball as to what helped her get to the next level.
“We came in on the weekends and shot a lot of foul shots, because we weren’t very good at those,” Collins said. “We did some workouts over the summer and I played summer-ball with a couple of teams. I was able to play with different players and stuff like that. You play in different areas, so you play different people from like Toledo, and Cincinnati, and you play bigger people.”
Siena Heights University is located in Arcadia, Michigan, 36 miles northwest of Toledo, Ohio. SHU is an NAIA school and the Saints compete in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
Collins will be joining a Saints squad that was 18-13 last season, including 11-9 in the WHAC. In her 12th season as head coach of Siena Heights is Sue Syljebeck.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and playing against different people,” said Collins. “The tournaments defiantly make me excited. Their coach was a D-1 post player and I’ve never had an actual post coach.”
Collins — who held a 3.7 grade-point-average at Eastern — will have a Pre-Veterinary major at SHU.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.