ANDOVER — Andover High’s Alyssa Casey, who recently committed to a full basketball scholarship to Merrimack College, still laughs at the memory.
“It’s ironic,” said the 5-11 Casey, “My mom would say ever since I was little, ‘You always have Merrimack.’ This was since 4th and 5th grade. This was without even basketball in the picture. I’d always be like, ‘No way!’”
Casey, who will be a senior in the fall, said she chose Merrimack over scholarships from Northeast-10 conference rivals Assumption and Southern New Hampshire University as well as from Division 1 New Jersey Institute of Technology.
The National Honor Society student also was being recruited by Harvard, Brown and Columbia from the Ivy League.
She decided on the nearby school (5.7 miles from home) and she couldn’t be happier.
“It’s almost unreal,” said Casey, who as a sophomore was offered first by Assumption and then soon after Merrimack. “It’s just amazing. I can’t even explain it. You get a certain feeling. It wasn’t the first time on campus, not the second time, not the third. It felt like home.”
She liked how aggressively the Warriors and head coach Monique LeBlanc recruited her.
“You feel a lot more secure to a college which locked in two years ago,” she said. “Being a top priority was a huge factor. They got to know me on a more personal level. You can’t beat it. And the Ivy Leagues can’t give athletic scholarships.”