Starck finds right fit with Aquinas

Morley Stanwood hoops star signs with Aquinas College

MORLEY — When determining all factors, Aquinas College was everything Elyse Starck ever wanted.

The Morley Stanwood senior signed her national letter of intent Wednesday to play women’s basketball for the Saints beginning in the fall. It was a long process and Starck took her time and visited many schools.

In the end, Aquinas College was the place that fit her needs the most.

“I love coach (Linda) Nash, she’s a great person and someone I can see playing for and being successful,” Starck said. “I love that it is only an hour away and everything is at your finger tips. I think it will be a great fit for me.”

CELEBRATION: (From left to right) Lori, Emily, Elyse and Lenny Starck celebrate Elyse's signing with Aquinas College to play basketball next winter. (Pioneer photo/Bob Allan)

Starck was an instrumental part of the Mohawks winning the Class C state championship this season, helping the team to a 28-0 record. The point guard averaged 13 points, four assists and four steals per game, while also shooting 71 percent from the free throw line.

During the course of the season, Starck traveled to different schools, meeting with coaches and players and watching games. It wasn’t until three weeks ago, however, that Starck finally made the decision to attend Aquinas College.

“It is a great relief,” Starck said. “It feels like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

Morley Stanwood coach Bob Raven thought Starck put together one of her best seasons, despite making the change from shooting guard to point guard.

“To the average fan, there probably isn’t much difference, but she handled it really well, because I don’t think there are as many teams that run as many offensive sets as we do,” Raven said. “Also, I think defensively, she was very solid for us. She’s like a coach on the floor. I know that sounds cliché, but it is true.”

Nash, who just completed her 16th season as head coach of the Saints, was attracted to Starck for her ability to run the Morley Stanwood offense, coming from a winning program and Starck’s academic success.

Starck will graduate with a 3.99 grade point average and plans on majoring in biology, which will lead into either nursing or becoming a physicians assistant.

“She was the quarterback of the team and she has strong academics,” Nash said. “I also like her ability to get to the free throw line, that will fit in with our style.”

Nash added Starck will get the opportunity to try for a starting spot, but made no guarantee. Aquinas College returns six seniors so Nash will have the luxury of red-shirting Starck if needed.

Starck knows it will be tough, at least in the initial stages, but it up for the challenge.

“I’ll have to work hard in the off season, it won’t be handed to me,” she said. “I know I’ll get as much out of it as I put into it.”

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