Morrison signs with Co-Lin

Published 12:57 am Thursday, April 9, 2009

NATCHEZ — Ashley Morrison has made quite a few transitions lately.

From public to private school and to two different teams, now the Adams County Christian senior basketball player has taken another step — to college ball.

Morrison signed a scholarship Wednesday with Copiah-Lincoln Community College to play basketball for the Lady Wolves.

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“She’s got decent size and she’s a good athlete,” Co-Lin coach Gwyn Young said. “If there’s someone like that in our area, we’re going to try to recruit them. She’s got a great attitude, and we always see potential with that.”

Morrison will have to make the transition from high school ball to the college level, but she is no stranger to unfamiliar situations.

She transferred from Natchez High to ACCS following her junior year and had to learn an entire new system with a new coach and new teammates.

“She made that transition very well, and it was tough,” ACCS coach Melanie Hall said. “This was our first year together, in a new environment for both of us. Ashely handled it very well, and I think that’s something that coach Young saw in her also. From the transition part of going into a new program, I think she’s going to do very well because she’s been through it before.”

Co-Lin coaches first saw Morrison play during the 2008 MHSAA Class 5A All-Star game, when she and then-teammate Alia Frank played as juniors.

And although Ole Miss, Mississippi Valley State and Millsaps College were all looking at her, Morrison chose Co-Lin for some very specific — and simple — reasons.

“It’s closer (to home), to my mom and my stepdad,” she said. “The other girls are nice, and they’ve got skills. And besides the fact of it being close to home, I know some of the girls on the team already from playing against them.”

Hall said Morrison is the first player she’s coached who has been scouted by Southeastern Conference teams, but she said she is not surprised that Morrison was watched so closely.

“You don’t have to be a genius to know that she’s got the tools to play,” Hall said. “If you’re good, they’ll find you. Word gets out, contacts are made, and if you can play, the word will get out there.”

And when word got out that there was a school very close to home that wanted Morrison and would possibly get her to play at a higher level in a couple years, Morrison jumped at the chance.

“Coach Young has got great connections at the next level,” Hall said. “If this is what she decides to do, he’ll find a place for her. This will make or break you, and you’ll find out real quick if it’s something you want to do.”

Morrison plans to major in English and hopes to be a teacher and basketball coach when she graduates from college.

She said she does hope to play Division I basketball, probably at Mississippi Valley State, where Frank — her best friend — is expected to sign.

“We’ll have others looked at now,” Hall said. “A big thing that draws schools to players is the desire and the heart that goes along with the ability. If you find a player that has a little bit of talent and a lot of heart, that’s dangerous. And that’s exciting to watch.”