BASKETBALL: Quellhorst signs with IPFW

With a nickname like the “Mastodons,” it’s tough to go wrong.

Morgan Quellhorst knew that much as a freshman.

Quellhorst, a senior at Wapakoneta High School, signed her national letter of intent to play college basketball at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne on Monday at Wapakoneta High School, honoring a verbal commitment she made as a sophomore.

“Freshman year, we went there for volleyball and we watched one of their games,” Quellhorst said Monday. “And it was just so cool. It was big, and they had the Mastodon, and it was different.”

The 6-foot-4 Quellhorst was courted by a host of schools, including Bowling Green State University, but knew all along IPFW was the place for her.

“[I decided] the day after he said ‘Call me’,” Quellhorst said of IPFW head coach Chris Paul. “The day after I visited I called and said, ‘I would love to play for you.’”

Quellhorst averaged 10.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game as a junior for Wapak, despite missing several games with a concussion. She shot 68 percent from the floor and is a career 60-percent field goal shooter.

Defensively she had 44 blocked shots as a sophomore and 32 in her injury-shortened junior season.

“When we began coaching her as a freshman, she was pretty raw with talent,” Wapak coach Rusty Allen said. “But she’s the type of kid who’s willing to learn, willing to try some things you’re asking her to do. I think she still has a lot of room to grow. I’m excited to see what they can do at the next step with her.”

At IPFW, she will get to pick the brain of former Purdue standout Kip Jones, the Mastodons’ assistant coach in charge of the post players.

“I’m excited about getting to work with Kip,” Quellhorst said.

“There’s a guy who can dedicate an entire practice just to Morgan,” Allen said. “That’s a huge advantage to Morgan.”

Quellhorst does not expect to start right away. But Allen said IPFW’s current situation makes it a good fit for her.

“A group of girls and I just went up there yesterday and watched [Wapak grad] Heidi [Schlegel] play, because they happened to be playing Youngstown State yesterday,” he said. “Immediately upon watching them, I realized they don’t have a post presence really right now. They’re very guard-oriented. So I think for a team at that level that’s looking for a post player, Morgan definitely fits that bill.”

Quellhorst plans to major in Visual Communication and Design.