Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Begole signs to University of the Cumberlands

Reagan Begole signs on to play for the University of the Cumberlands on Monday afternoon.
Metamora, Ill. - Once a Redbird, now a Patriot. With the pen put to the paper in the commons at Metamora High School on Monday afternoon, girls basketball senior Reagan Begole made it official. Beginning with the 2019-2020 season, she will play for the University of the Cumberlands Patriots, an NAIA school located in Williamsburg, Kentucky.

In her junior season, Begole scored 347 points (12.4 per game), the first player in current head coach Brianna Morrow's tenure to do so.

Her 80 2's and 44 3's were both good for second on the team. Her 54-77 effort from the free throw line was best on the team by 19 made free throws.

The Patriots, as mentioned, an NAIA school, are under the direction of first-year head coach Rick Reeves. Reeves has quite the resume, including a stop at an SEC school.

Rick Reeves Coaching History
1978 - 1980 | Student Assistant Coach | Indiana State (NCAA D1)
1985 - 1986 | Head Coach | Brescia (NAIA)
1986 - 1989 | Head Coach | Cumberland University (NAIA)
1989 - 1990 | Assistant Coach | Florida (NCAA D1)
1990 - 1999 | Head Coach | Liberty (NCAA D1)
1999 - 2004 | Head Coach | Southern Mississippi (NCAA D1)
2004 - 2018 | Head Coach | Gardner-Webb University (NCAA D1)

Now some may wonder, how does a Kentucky university in a town about 50% larger than Metamora, find out about a girl from Metamora? Coach Reeves says it has to do with a combination of his past recruiting and current players on the roster.

"We've been able to recruit, throughout my career, globally. With Reagan, it was a little bit different. Summer Cramer and Jasmyne Stewart, who are both from Illinois, and they all three played on the same AAU team. Their AAU coach asked us to watch his team play. If we liked the style of play of Summer and Jasmyne, he said he's got another player that would fit our system as well (Begole)."

Reeves goes on to say that they had the opportunity to see Begole play "several times" over the summer. He says what they were told about Begole was "absolutely correct", adding that "we felt like she was a great fit for our program, our university, and our style of play".

It's been quite an exciting time for basketball fans, players, coaches, and recruits. Today (Wednesday) is National Signing Day. Reeves shares that excitement, and says it spreads through the whole program. He also says that the process of getting the recruits to meet each other went quite well.

"We're very excited. We had all our recruits here on the same weekend, so they got to meet each other. They already got to become friends. I think that was an excellent job by my staff. We brought them in for a football game. They really like each other. The other two recruits were thrilled that Reagan also signed."

Metamora fans have been able to see why Begole is playing at the next level for a few years now, but what does a long-time NCAA Division-1 coach think? Reeves thinks the leading aspect of Begole's game is her versatility, but it's not just that either.

"I think she's been well-coached, by both her high school coach and her AAU coach. I still think Reagan's best basketball is ahead of her. What I love about Reagan is her versatility. She can do a lot of things. She can get to the rim with the ball, she's got a mid-range game, she can shoot the three, she's a good ball handler, a very good passer, she can play the one, two, or three. She works hard on defense. She's also extremely unselfish. She's a high-character kid."

Reagan had 10 points in a 53-43 win for the Metamora girls on Tuesday night against Springfield. The Lady Redbirds travel to Galesburg to play Danville Schlarman on Friday at 7:30 pm.

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