Former Portales Lady Ram Morgan Hill, now at the Naval Academy, throws her arms up while defending during a game earlier this year. Hill has played 31 minutes in seven games while scoring 8 points this season. (Navy Athletics Photo: Phil Hoffman)
Former Portales Lady Ram Morgan Hill still studies and shoots hoops, but everything else in her world has dramatically changed.
Morgan is a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. — and like any new arrival, she’s still trying to adjust.
“This is anything but normal,” Hill said. “It’s a much different atmosphere than anybody else who goes to college.”
For starters, she’s not used to being away from home.
“I miss home so much,” Hill said. “(Before the Academy) I’d never been away from home for more than two weeks.”
Upon getting started at the Academy in the fall, Hill said she was away from home for six months before she was able to come home for Christmas.
“When she first got there, she wanted to come home,” Greg Hill, Morgan’s father said. “But we discussed it with her, and she made a commitment that she would stay.”
She is also getting adjusted to the rigid rules and regulations at the Naval Academy.
Freshmen (called plebes) are required to study from 8 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., and they must all be in bed by 11 p.m.
“My roommate was studying last night past 11, and somebody came and got onto her,” Hill said.
She is also finding it difficult to adjust to her role on the basketball court after helping Portales win three Class 3A state titles in four years. A 6-foot post, she has played sparingly in seven games for the Division I Middies, who are 9-13. She has scored eight points in 31 minutes.
“I get real down when I’m not playing and my confidence level goes down,” Hill said. “But I have to remind myself that I can do it. As long as I work hard, I’ll keep getting better and eventually I’ll get to play.”
With all the new challenges she faces at a new place with new rules, Greg Hill feels his daughter is equipped to deal with anything that comes her way.
“People have to learn to deal with adversity and I think we let her grow up dealing with that and now at the Naval Academy she’s having to deal with it again,” he said.