Female AASE presence grows at NCAA Division 1 colleges
Ashleigh Munns, SEEVIC college Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) graduate has been awarded an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Southern Utah and to be part of the Thunderbird Women’s basketball programme.
AASE is a two-year programme where apprentices receive additional support and guidance for their basketball development and education. Importantly AASE also supports an array of exit opportunities both domestically and abroad. This year’s graduating class includes 5 female athletes that have been given the opportunity to enhance their basketball/academics within NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball programmes in America.
Speaking at the U18 Women’s European Championship in Strumica, FYR Macedonia where she is competing with the England, Ashleigh said:
“This is something I never even dreamed of achieving. It was only in the last year or so where I really believed I could do it and I now find myself with this life changing opportunity. I have 12 days when I come back from the European Championships before I leave for Utah and I couldn’t be more excited. I think it’s a really good move for me to take the next step to the States. I need to get out and experience not just basketball but life in general and I cannot wait to be part of the Southern Utah Thunderbird family.”
Also ready to begin their American collegiate careers are Barking Abbey School AASE students Chantel Charles (Maine University), Lana Doran (Gardner Webb University), Lilliana Almeida (Columbia University) and Michelle Turner (South Carolina Aiken University).
The graduates of 2012 will follow in the footsteps of 2009-11 AASE graduates Christina Gaskin (Fordham University), Maisie Elston (Houston Baptist University) and Rosie Hynes (Troy University/Florida Tech) who all have played pivotal roles on their respective teams during their freshman years.
AASE Manager Charlie Ford summed up the difference AASE funding is having by saying:
“The AASE basketball programme has developed and extended significantly over the past 4 years, the framework allows for students to be on court for 16+ hours a week and gives them access to weekly high level competition through our partnership with British Colleges Sport. The fact that we will have 8 female AASE graduates playing within NCAA Division 1 programmes is a testament to the hard work of the coaches and their commitment to what AASE can do in regards to supporting the development of potential elite players.”