By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers
Megan Kabrick was all set to move away from home and play college volleyball at Angelo State when she suddenly had a change of heart.
A four-year standout in volleyball and basketball at Portales High School, Kabrick signed to play at Angelo in November of 2005. She thought she would be happy with that.
“Angelo was the only school that gave me an offer,” said Kabrick, whose father Ed is the head trainer at Eastern New Mexico University. “I went for a visit (in June) and I liked the place.”
But when she returned for the start of school in August, she was convinced she made a wrong decision.
“I practiced with them for two weeks,” Kabrick said. “Their coach (Ruth Lawanson) was awesome, but I didn’t feel like I belonged.
“It just wasn’t where I was supposed to be, and I knew it.”
She sought and received an athletic release from Lawanson — for anything except volleyball. Eventually, she went to first-year ENMU women’s basketball coach Linden Weese to seek a tryout.
“I decided, ‘I don’t want to just go to school,’” said Kabrick, a heath and P.E. major.
She made the team, and has started all eight games for the Zias (6-2), who play at New Mexico Highlands on Monday.
Weese, who met Kabrick at a summer camp conducted by Portales High girls coach Brenda Gomez, said he’s happy to have her.
“I really gave her a hard time (at the camp),” he said. “I’d say, ‘Volleyball players over here, basketball players over there.’
“Megan’s a pleasure to be around; she’s always positive. I think she’s a lot better athlete than she gives herself credit for. If she has to run a little faster, she does; if she has to jump a little higher, she does.”
She came to Portales with her family while in eighth grade when her father, then the athletic trainer at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., took a similar position at ENMU.
Portales won three Class 3A state basketball championships and earned a runnerup finish in her four seasons, although she missed most of her sophomore year with a torn ACL.
So far, the 5-foot-11 guard-forward is averaging five points and nearly four rebounds in 19 minutes a game. She’s shooting 47 percent from the floor, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range.
“This year’s been a learning process,” she said of the college game. “It’s so fast-paced — go, go, go.”
Weese said Kabrick is making the adjustment.
“She’s not really a ‘go-to’ player right now,” he said. “And I’m sure she’s had to defend people who are probably a whole lot better than what she faced in high school.”
Kabrick said the Zias have their sights set on the Lone Star Conference postseason tournament.
“We’re making the tournament this year,” she said. “I think this team is amazing. The coach is amazing, and he brings out the best in all of us.”