Assumption Royals

From The Wisconsin Rapids Tribune

WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Gena Grundhoffer could have waited through the summer and even into next school year to weigh her numerous college options.

That would have been way too agonizing for the Assumption High School junior, so Grundhoffer verbally committed this weekend to attend Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and play basketball for the Mountain Hawks. She will be part of Lehigh’s 2016 recruiting class.

Since she can’t sign her national letter of intent until next fall at the earliest, she can still change her mind, but she feels good about her decision.

“It’s a big stress reliever verbally committing now,” Grunhoffer said. “Now I can just go through the summer and next year playing basketball and not worry about hearing from coaches or wondering where I’m going to school.

“I visited the campus last October and loved it. I met the girls on the team and they were welcoming and so was the coaching staff. It’s a beautiful place to be and the great thing about it is that I can see myself there and being successful.”

Grundhoffer, who averaged 20.4 points per game this year to lead the Marawood Conference South Division in scoring, had offers from Northern Illinois and UW-Milwaukee, but felt like the Lehigh community could be her new family.

“The coaches have been so supportive and they’re checking in on me,” Grundhoffer said. “It’s kind of like they’re talking care of me and that played a huge part in my decision.

“I also like where the college is located in eastern Pennsylvania. I wanted to go to college in a different part of the country and Lehigh has given me that opportunity.”

A three-sport athlete for the Royals, Grundhoffer has been on a two state championship teams, basketball as a freshman and soccer last spring and was part of two state runner-up basketball teams.

She is also the first Assumption girl during coach Joe Birkhauser’s tenure to accept a Division I offer.

“The whole program is happy for Gena and her family,” Birkhauser said. “She works extremely hard and loves basketball. She’s a 6-foot-1 kid who can handle the ball and shoot from the outside or post up. I think her style suits her to playing at the next level.”

The Mountain Hawks went 19-12 overall and 9-9 in the Patriot League this past year. Head coach Sue Troyan has led the program for 20 years.

Mark Massoglia can be reached at 715-423-7200, ext. 6736. Follow him on Twitter @markmazzy.

Click on picture to see Gena in action!