With a bright future ahead, the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team is looking to the hand of freshman forward Frannie Merkel for its success.
Merkel started playing ball at the age of four when she took her first shot with a basketball. While excelling on her volleyball and softball teams, Merkel just loved being on the basketball court.
In her sophomore season of high school, Merkel caught the eye of associate head coach Ben Sarraf when she recorded 10 blocks in a game.
“This is it, this is what I want to do in college,” Merkel said. “I thought it would be a great experience.”
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) allowed Merkel to learn the game at an elite level. The maturity in Merkel’s game stood out immediately the first time head coach Cheryl Cole laid eyes on the player.
“Seeing that kid on the court for the first time, I just loved her motor,” Cole said. “She could jump out of the gym and was very physical.”
The competiveness of basketball is what motivates Merkel to be the best she can be.”
“I always push myself 100 percent of the time, I love to compete,” Merkel said. “My AAU coach always pushed me and would try to get me to expand my game.”
Merkel prides herself on her work ethic and giving everything she has into all that she does which her coaches and teammates have taken notice early on in her career.
“You can’t ask anything more from a player than what Frannie gives you,” Cole said. “She plays with so much intensity and heart because of how hard she works. She will continue to be a nightmare for the opposing team.”
Throughout her career, Merkel has thought of her teams to be more like families. Upon her arrival to PSUC, Merkel foreshadowed her Plattsburgh family to be one of her favorites.
“I saw the potential that we would become a family,” Merkel said. “These girls are already my best friends and it’s just the beginning.”
Merkel is known to be the team motivator as she always is keeping a positive, up-beat vibe and putting a smile on everyone’s face.
“I like to try and work everyone to the bone,” Merkel said. “I just love to be myself out on the court leading by example.”
Even Cole notices the upbeat personality of Merkel and loves to see it rub off on the rest of the team.
“You can see Frannie loves to be a part of a team,” Cole said. “She has a lot of energy and is a pleasure to be around.”
Senior guard Jax Miller is glad she got to play her final season with the future of Cardinal basketball.
“Frannie is a great girl with an insanely bright personality,” Miller said. “Anything is possible for her because she is a go-getter. I don’t think anything will stop her from becoming great.”
With her athleticism, work ethic, and desire to be great, Merkel can do special things for PSUC.
“She is the kind of kid that comes in everyday for extra work whether it’s watching film or just being in the gym,” Coach Cole said. “Her drive to be successful is outstanding. The sky is the limit for her.”
Email Kyle Espejo at firstname.lastname@example.org