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St. Vincent the pick for Kimmich

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
For the Murrysville Star
Franklin Regional guard Maggie Kimmich, shown in a game against Plum during her junior season, will continue her basketball career in college at St. Vincent. Bill Shirley | For the Murrysville Star

The leading scorer for Franklin Regional's girls basketball team will be staying in the county for college.

Panthers' senior guard Maggie Kimmich committed earlier this month to join the women's basketball program at St. Vincent College after her graduation next year.

Kimmich, who as a junior scored 14.7 points per game and helped lead the Panthers to a WPIAL playoff berth, chose the Bearcats over other Presidents' Athletic Conference schools, including Grove City and Westminster.

“They pursued me very early. They first contacted me in the middle of my junior year,” Kimmich said.

“I had a good connection with the coach, and the program just gave me a good feeling.”

The Bearcats have had a strong team in recent years and have earned back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.

One person very happy to hear Kimmich's decision was Franklin Regional coach Rick Klimchock, who has his own ties to the school.

“It's a great fit for her, basketball-wise and academically,” Klimchock said.

“I have a soft spot for St. Vincent because my daughter played there and both of my sons play there. They love kids with a great work ethic and great competitiveness, and Maggie sure is that.”

Proximity to home played a role in Kimmich's decision, and the fact she was able to land with a consistent winning program while staying in the county appealed to her.

“Besides the basketball part of it, I love the fact that it's close to home,” she said. “I'm a very family-oriented person, and its going to be nice that they'll be able to come to my games.”

Kimmich said biology is her intended major, which also made St. Vincent an attractive option. The school is wrapping up work on its new, $39 million science building, and more than 40 percent of the college's students are science or technology majors.

While the new facilities will help challenge Kimmich in the classroom, the Panthers senior is expecting to be challenged just as much on the basketball court.

“It's very exciting to go somewhere where I'll be challenged, and they are expecting to win,” Kimmich said. “That will make me a better player, and it will be cool to be part of a basketball-oriented school.

“I think now I have to keep my work ethic up during my senior year and work to improve every day and get ready for that next step.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

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