Sports

Hoisting high hopes

Cougar Megan Hoisington, shown launching a jumper over a pair of Olympic defenders last year, hopes to transition from CK’s state run last season to Seattle Pacific University with another state trip for the Cougs this season. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Cougar Megan Hoisington, shown launching a jumper over a pair of Olympic defenders last year, hopes to transition from CK’s state run last season to Seattle Pacific University with another state trip for the Cougs this season.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Megan Hoisington exudes quiet confidence on the basketball court. She’ll grab the tenacious board, stick her hand high in her defendee’s face and show perfect poise in driving strong to the hoop.

But on Wednesday, surrounded by her teammates and friends, family and coaches, Hoisington looked a little uncomfortable. Maybe not nervous, as she said repeatedly, but certainly a little out of her element.

“Can I sign now?” Hoisington cautiously asked Central Kitsap coach Denise Baxter.

“You can sign now,” Baxter said.

Looking relieved, Hoisington proceeded to sign a commitment to continue her basketball career at the collegiate level for Seattle Pacific University, one the country’s top NCAA Division II women’s basketball programs.

SPU went 30-3 last season, 17-1 to win the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, falling in the NCAA Division II title game, 70-53, to Washburn (Topeka, Kan.).

“I am excited. Really excited,” Hoisington said after signing Thursday at CKHS. “It was a few years of work. Basically, without my parents and coaches, I couldn’t have done it.”

Hoisington will be a familiar name to those within the SPU hoops community, as Megan begins to follow in the footsteps of her father, Greg, and uncle, Doug. Greg Hoisington played for the Falcons from 1979 to 1982, leading the team in field goal percentage in 1980, shooting .555, and putting up 12.7 points and 6.5 rebounds his senior year. Doug Hoisington played from 1978 to 1980.

“It’s neat. I’m looking forward to that,” Megan Hoisington said of following her family ties. “My uncle played there too, so it’s kind of neat to follow in their footsteps.”

Greg Hoisington was excited his daughter is attending his alma mater.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “That’s where I played. And it’s not far enough away that we can’t go watch. She’s worked hard for it.”

A key player in CK’s stateward run last season, Megan Hoisington averaged 15 points and 9.5 boards per game. But with a 3.968 grade-point average, she has also excelled in the classroom. Those two skill sets combined, she said SPU was simply the best fit.

“They have a lot of help with athletes,” she said. “And I like the smaller size. It’s a little more one-on-one.

“I know it sounds weird, but Seattle Pacific has been a dream of mine since elementary school,” she said. “It’s just kind of unrealistic how it happened to work.”

Hoping to become an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist, Megan Hoisington said she also visited with Western Washington University (Bellingham) and St. Martin’s University (Lacey) before deciding on SPU.

“SPU felt like a perfect place for me,” she said. “I love the people on the team and the academics. It’s going to be really good for me.”

Greg Hoisington couldn’t have agreed more.

“Playing college basketball was such a great experience,” he said. “She’ll be happy.”

While Megan Hoisington has always been a stellar rebounder and defender, Baxter said it was the development of her offensive game that has given her the ability to rise to the occasion.

“She’s gotten a lot more explosive offensively,” Baxter said. “She’s always been a good rebounder. She’s really balanced out. All that training and select ball really helped her in those aspects of the game.”

Megan Hoisington said her parents and all of her coaches played an instrumental part in her development as a player and a person. In addition to playing for CK, Hoisington has also worked with Glenn Nelson and Chris Bown of NW Hoopgurlz in Seattle and Jeremy Landis of Westside Hoops in Poulsbo.

“They have been with me through everything,” Megan Hoisington said of her family. “They’ve supported me and without them, I wouldn’t have been where I am. And my coaches helped me become the player I am.”

One difference Greg Hoisington said between his experience and his daughter’s will be the fact that Megan will be attending on scholarship, something he had to fight for in his playing days.

“It’s good (for her),” he said. “When I went I walked on out of Meadowdale (High School in Lynnwood). I played JV and got a partial scholarship my sophomore year. So this is a little easier way to do it.”

Another reason Megan Hoisington said she was happy with her choice was the proximity to her family right across the water.

“My little sister can come across on the ferry and we can go to lunch,” she said. “My mom and dad can come over too.”

With the CK girls season close to getting underway, Megan Hoisington said she’s getting ready for another strong year on the hardwood.

“I think we’re going to be a strong team,” she said. “We’re all really pumped for the season. I’m getting excited.”

Aiding her preparation for the season is knowing she’s already got a home after graduation.

“It’s nice to know where I’m going,” she said. “I’m just really looking forward to helping the younger girls that are looking to improve. It’s really relieving to know where I’m going, especially when it’s somewhere I know I really want to be.”

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