POULTNEY, Vt. – The Green Mountain College women's basketball team recently received a financial commitment from local Poultney High School standout Leanna Mason who will continue her academic and hoops career as an Eagle starting in 2018-19.
For Mason it's a sort of staying home party. The Blue Devil's leading scorer this past season with over 1,100 career points to her credit will be shooting on new rims next year albeit just a mile down Main Street from her high school gym.
And that suits her just fine.
"Leanna relishes and embraces the small town, tight-knit community aspect of life," related high school coach Todd Hayes. "She has a great heart and is all about family."
In fact, it was the familial feelings surrounding the women's team that cemented Mason's decision to attend Green Mountain.
"I chose GMC because of the family environment similar to the one I experienced during my high school career," said Mason. "GMC also works with the community, so I can continue working with those people I have become so familiar with over the years."
Having attended countless basketball games at the Eagle Dome over the past few years, Mason should be quite familiar with head coach Brad Rideout having seen him up close and personal. While a few initial jitters won't be out of the question, she should quickly adapt to essentially playing in her back yard.
"I am a little nervous [about making the transition to play collegiate basketball], but once I get in the gym the first time, I think I will be fine."
Mason should add some skill and depth to the Eagles' front court having eclipsed the 1,000 point plateau in her career. This past year Mason was one of the Marble Valley League D Division's leading rebounders finishing with a total of 231 boards.
The senior forward was recognized as a MVL D Division First Team All-Star and played in the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association All-Star game on the South squad contributing seven points.
Staying close to home for Mason will be incredibly valuable.
"It is going to be nice to be able to play ball close to home so I continue to benefit from the support that everyone has provided me with throughout the years as well as truly making it a home court advantage," said Mason.