By Carl Adamec
Courtney Ekmark is coming to the University of Connecticut — in 2014.
“She is not going to UConn early. She is going to go in next year with her class,” Curtis Ekmark, Courtney’s father and her coach at St. Mary’s High of Phoenix, Ariz., for her three years, said Monday night.
Ekmark, a 6-foot guard, made her oral commitment to UConn just over a year ago. As a junior, she averaged 19.6 points, five rebounds, and four steals in leading St. Mary’s to a 29-1 record and its third straight Division I state championship. She was named the Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year.
The Arizona Republic reported over the weekend that Curtis Ekmark had resigned his coaching position at St. Mary’s and will be pursuing a club coaching opportunity in conjunction with Nike that will start up in August. The story also speculated that Courtney Ekmark, who is the No. 1 student her class, may enroll early at UConn. With nine scholarship players on the roster, there is plenty room for her.
But Curtis Ekmark said Monday night that the only decision his daughter will be making this summer is whether she’ll return to St. Mary’s for her senior year or be home schooled for the year.
“She only needs one or two more classes,” Curtis Ekmark said. “If she decides to be home schooled, it gives her a lot of options. It will give her more time to work on her game, lift weights, and help her be ready to play right away at UConn. If she goes back to St. Mary’s, she’ll be able to play and be with her friends. She’ll make that decision in July.”
This summer, Courtney, who turned 18 in April, will be play for the Cal Swish AAU program. The Ekmarks were hoping to talk with members of the UConn coaching staff this week to set up a visit this fall, perhaps for the Huskies’ annual First Night program. But she’s only going to be there for the weekend.
“Courtney is eager to get to UConn,” Curtis Ekmark said. “But she’ll go when she’s supposed to.”