Friday, January 26, 2001

Kings' Fox looks to take game to next level

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        College basketball coaches were eager to watch Sarah Fox perform against some of the best competition in the country at player invitational this past summer in Washington, D.C. But Fox, a 6-foot Kings center/guard who's one of Cincinnati's leading scorers (23 points a game), never got the chance.

        While playing for a Cincinnati summer AAU team at a national tournament the week before the exhibition, Fox suffered a broken ankle.

        As a result, only a handful of small Division I schools and several Division II and III are showing interest in her.

        “The doctors at the tournament told me it was just a sprain,” the senior said. “They wrapped it and I walked with crutches. When I got back, my doctor X-rayed it and found a break.”

        A good outside shooter who also effectively scores inside, Fox's development had been monitored by the college recruiters since earning a starting position as a freshman late in that season.

        “The hardest part of the recovery was getting back into condition,” Fox said. “I put on a little weight because of the inactivity. The only exercise I got was swimming.”

        Although her ankle is 100 percent, Fox isn't taking chances. She wraps it for practices and games and also wears a protective brace.

        Through 11 games, Fox is averaging 23 points and six rebounds a game, while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range.

        Fox has scored 1,351 points in her career, 47 short of the Kings record (boys and girls) set by Carrie Gabbard from 1988-92.CHECK ON THURSDAY????

        Most of the credit for her success goes to John Grunkemeyer, former Mt. Healthy boys basketball coach who took over as Fox's personal coach the summer before her freshman year.

        “We scrapped everything that I was doing and started over,” Fox said. “Mr. Grunkemeyer changed the way I was shooting and has been a big help to me on developing moves to the basket on the inside and from the outside.”

        First-year Kings coach Katie Moeller, who coached Fox as an eighth-grader before taking a JV position at Lakota West, has been impressed with Fox's play and improvement.

        “In terms of age-level, Sarah was one of our tallest players as an eighth-grader but also a good shooter,” Moeller said. “But she didn't have the range from the outside like she does today.”

        Moeller advised Fox there were other things as important as scoring.

        “The college people know Sarah can score,” Moeller said. “They're looking for her to play four quarters of hard-nosed basketball and to be aggressive hitting the boards. She's doing much better in these areas.”

        Fox is one of four seniors who have put the Knights in excellent position to claim the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Cardinal Division championship.

        Besides Fox, seniors Shannon Heekin, Julie Roudabush and Katie Daugherty have delivered along with juniors Kellie McClung and Lindsey Oliva and sophomore Lauren Fox.

        “We've seen gimmick defenses to stop Sarah such as a triangle-and-one and box-and-one,” Moeller said. “But we have several good outside shooters and others who can score on the inside.”

        Moeller predicts Fox will be an excellent college player.

        “You've got to love the game to play in college and Sarah plays year-round,” Moeller said. “There's some schools looking at her and a couple more who have shown interest. I'm sure she'll play somewhere next year.”


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