Last Friday, Katie Rice made a decision. This decision, would be the biggest decision in her young life. So she decided to wait until yesterday to confirm this decision. This decision required she think about her long-term future. Katie Rice of Red Bank Catholic, yesterday called Lehigh University to inform them, she will be attending the Patriot School. LEHIGH UNIVERSITY and KATIE RICE are now family.
When Katie Rice tore her ACL four years ago. She knew that her journey back would require hard work and dedication. These qualities are the reason why Katie Rice was so in demand by so many schools. Colleges love how hard Katie Rice plays and the passion which she does it with. It’s the reason that the best teams in the Ivy League and Power 5 schools as well, desired her signature on a letter of intent. On the other hand, Katie Rice needed to make a decision herself. When a player works hard to recover from serious injury, I believe they expect a reward for such work. Katie Rice has worked as hard as any player, I know to put herself in the position to choose a college of her choice. But ego and keeping up with the Jones can blur ones decisions sometimes. KATIE RICE had no such problems…because of her decision to attend LEHIGH UNIVERSITY… her future looks so bright!
There were calls to be made yesterday by Katie Rice and RBC head coach Joe Montano. It’s those difficult calls a player who has been chased and recruited by different colleges; must make. It’s those phone calls, when the player has to tell all the schools that recruited them; the chase is over. It’s that painful moment, when only one school will be happy. It’s that happy but yet sad moment for a kid. It’s the end of a relationship between people who like each other but must part ways. It’s like breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it painful. The RBC way is always the classy way and Katie Rice is Casey though and though. She delivered the painful news to those schools, who would not be getting a name on the letter of intent. It’s never easy saying goodbye to people you respect and who have giving you so much attention and encouragement. Katie Rice learned that lesson yesterday.
Some players this spring will go though the recruiting process constantly looking for something better. Some will want a School with a better education, campus or location. There are many things that slow a recruiting process down. But nothing slows a recruiting process down more than ego. There are some kids and their parents who bathe in the recruiting process. They love the attention and the phone calls. Katie Rice is no such kid and nobody found this to be true more than parents, Mike and Kerry Rice. College coaches found getting Katie Rice on the phone not to be a easy chore. They quickly found out recruiting anyone other than her was a waste of time. KATIE RICE was making her own, well thought out decision. But playing on nation TV, playing in big arena’s and having a well known name on the front of your Jersey is nice for your ego….even for Katie Rice, but LEHIGH FELT LIKE FAMILY to Katie Rice. If you know anything about Katie Rice, know this….SHE LOVES HER FAMILY.
Some of the best academic schools in America recruited Katie Rice. She is an elite student, who just happens to be a great basketball student. It’s why in the end, Katie Rice had to decide between big time basketball and big time education last weekend. She choose EDUCATION. She choose Lehigh University, because they did there homework. They knew her history. Lehigh, reminded Katie how she became one of the best ball handlers in the state over 3 years. They told her they knew how she was an improved shooter. They knew she was a 46% three point shooter, this season. They charted her shooting even in warm ups, during AAU games. LEHIGH knew Katie Rice was maybe the best passer in the state. Lehigh not just knew Katie Rice was tough as nails, BUT THEY KNEW HOW, SHE GOT TO WHERE SHE IS TODAY. It’s why Katie Rice decided LEHIGH was the right fit. It’s why once again Lehigh has stolen another mega star from the Shore Conference.
Jess Depalo is considered one of the best players in Shore history. She is a legend in RBC circles. She is the asst AD at Columbia University these days. Before that she too made a big decision. She chose education over big Arenas and ego. She is the # 7 All Time leading scorer in Lehigh history and one of the best players in Patroit League history. Katie O’Reilly was part of one of the great teams in SJV history. She also scored over a 1000 points at Lehigh University, went to the NCAA Tournament and was All Patriot. She is one of the schools All Time leading scorers. She also had one scholarship offer out of high school…LEHIGH UNIVERSITY. Why do I bring this up? Two reasons, Lehigh has shown why they are a contender every year in the Patriot League. They out recruit bigger schools and most importantly have the vision to recruit kids without reputations and TRUST THERE JUDGEMENT. Katie Rice in a strange why is a combination of JESS Depalo and Katie O’ Reilly. Just like I tired to tell Patriot schools, Stephanie Karcz’s would become a star in the conference. Let me explain this, you haven’t seen anything yet. Katie Rice in the Patriot League, will be like a hurricane coming though, remember “I TOLD YOU SO”
I am proud of Katie Rice, not because she made such a wise decision. Check the record books, Shore players have had great sucess in the Patriot League on the court and most importantly off the court. What am most proud of Katie, is how hard she has worked over the years. How when she was told, she needed to become a better ball handler. She became one of the best ball handlers at her position. When told to become a better shooter she became that. Every step of the way KATIE RICE got better and she did it in the spotlight. She did it with the pain of watching her dad and family go though a difficult time, played out in public. She did it, despite losing a year with the ACL injury. KATIE RICE HAS BEEN THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR, nothing has ever stopped her along the way. She has a track record of over coming just about everything and any road block thrown in her way. ….Lehigh University is not getting just a basketball player, they are getting a well rounded person and true teammate. I Believe a D1 College coach, watching Katie Rice at Boo Williams two weeks ago, summed it up best…
“How about the SMILE Katie Rice, displays while competing at such a high level…contagious and puts her teammates and coaches at ease.”….Amen coach and so very true…..CONGRATS to KATIE RICE AND THE ENTIRE RICE FAMILY!!!