Columbus Christian Academy basketball player Morgan Whitten signed her letter of intent on Friday to play basketball at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
She made it official with a ceremony Friday at the school.
Whitten was a key team member for the CCA Rams girls’ basketball team throughout her high school career, racking up personal accolades such as All-District and CCA MVP awards and All-MAIS and All-Tournament honors. She averaged 14.5 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds per game in her final season as she led the Rams to a district title and the second round of the state tournament.
The team didn’t avenge its loss in the state championship from the year before, but the run in her final year confirmed her desire to find the right college program to keep playing the game she loves.
“I’m extremely excited, extremely thankful to get the opportunity to play,” Whitten said. “I didn’t want to regret not playing basketball. That’s why I’ve chosen to continue my journey.”
Whitten struggled with a recurring dislocated shoulder problem during her senior season, and in her time sitting out games she grew frustrated with having to watch from the sidelines. It was a setback for her, but it also fueled her hunger to play the game and come back stronger.
“I sat out probably five to six games, and didn’t come back until playoff season. We were able to go really far, and then after that it was a recurring injury,” she said. “It was kind of an off and on thing, but I’ve been able to keep playing and I wanted to work through it.”
That determination to learn from her experiences and continue working toward her goals helped her become one of the school’s most accomplished players, as well as garner interest from college programs.
That experience was special for her and her team, and for her coaches and teachers who helped her along the way. Billy Thomas, athletic director for CCA as well as basketball coach, talked about the part that hurts, as well, when you have to see a player leave.
“You almost hate these days,” Thomas said. “Graduation, it feels like one of my own graduates every year. You watch these kids grow and learn, and you’re a part of that. It’s a blessing to be a part of that, but on the other hand it’s sad to see them go. You know, you can watch someone else come in and maybe on the court they can replace that production, but there’s no replacing them.”
He is nevertheless proud of Whitten’s accomplishments and her growth as a person during her time at CCA.
“From the time Morgan came here this was her dream, I remember back in eighth grade she talked about wanting to play at the next level,” Thomas said. “She’s always been one of the hardest working kids at the school. She’s gonna be one of the first at the gym, last to leave, going on her own and doing the things to make it happen. She’s just a real well rounded student athlete who has achieved everything.”
Whitten echoed the importance of her faith in her growth at CCA and will cherish the time spent at the school.
“CCA has played a big part spiritually for me too, and that was a really important connection for me,” she said. “It’s gonna be dear to my heart, and I was so glad I got to come to this school.”
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