College recruiting can be a grueling and cruel process at times. And while good deeds tend to be rare, when they do happen they can lead to surprising and welcomed outcomes.
Trinity rising senior Kassidy Ingram was on the receiving end of one such good deed this summer.
At an elite camp at Ole Miss earlier this summer, Ingram “balled” and impressed the Rebels coaches. But she said the team had already finished its 2019 recruiting class. However, Yolett McPhee-McCuin called her former assistant coach at Jacksonville University, telling him to take a look at a talented forward who would be a good fit in their system.
A few weeks later Ingram, having made an unofficial visit to Jacksonville with her mom, chose the Dolphins. Ingram announced her choice Saturday evening on Twitter.
Thank you to everybody who’s been supportive, on to the next chapter ! #GoDolphins 💚 @JAX_WBB @CoachHaneyJU @DivaCoachJAX @JU_CoachBri24 @mid_penn_motion @RocksGBB @Unleashed717 pic.twitter.com/gbUWKxbtAG— Kassidy (@ingram_kassidy) August 11, 2018
“Thank you to all my amazing coaches, family, and friends who have supported and always believed in me,” part of her tweet said. “I will not disappoint! Go Dolphins!”
She was down at Ole Miss to test herself in a Power 5 conference environment, where her parents both graduated from. McPhee-McCuin was hired this spring by the Rebels after several years at JU, which beat out Vermont and Detroit Mercy for Ingram’s services.
“The girls are nice, the ones that I got to meet,” Ingram told The Sentinel on Monday, citing the scenic views of the city and school and the mid-size feel of the campus as factors in her decision. “I don’t want a huge school and I don’t want a small school, so it was a perfect fit.
“They kind of see me as a fit like [my role at Trinity].”
Ingram, a two-time All-Sentinel First Team pick, joined Trinity in the summer of 2017 after transferring out of Carlisle and combined with another 2017 transfer and Division I recruit, Sunshine McCrae, to lead coach Kristi Britten’s Shamrocks from Mid-Penn Capital also-ran to District 3 Class 3A champion in just one season.
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The smooth-shooting forward displayed good vision on offense and could score in bunches when needed, averaging 11.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. She needs 130 points to crack 1,000 for her career.
McCrae is still going through the recruiting process. Shamrocks sophomore Ava Stephenson also landed her first D-I offer from Quinnipiac more than a week ago, her mother told The Sentinel.
The Dolphins are led by Darnell Haney, promoted in April after serving as an assistant coach for the past five years under McPhee-McCuin.
Jacksonville is coming off two of its best seasons ever, winning 47 games in that span. The team made the Atlantic Sun Conference championship game, losing to Florida Gulf Coast University, after going 12-2 in conference regular season play. JU lost to Central Florida in the first round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament in March.
Ingram, who will major in physical therapy, could have a chance to get playing time early in her career, with the Dolphins’ front court sporting multiple junior or senior forwards this season.
“And we talked about it with [Haney],” said Ingram, who knows of two junior college transfers and two 2019 freshman recruits that she would also compete with in the front court when she arrives. “Nothing is gonna come easy.”
Ingram, who plays AAU with the Mid-Penn Motion and trains at Unleashed Potential in Carlisle, has been in the gym since Trinity’s last game, she said. She’s hoping to win a state title in her senior season.
She decided to commit now to “have the weight lifted off my chest” before senior year, she said.
“Patience was the key [in the recruiting process].”