Hebron's Cimmier to play basketball at College Park

April 14, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Mount Hebron's Rachel Cimmier has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Maryland next fall.

The 6-foot-2 French exchange student earned second-team All-Metro and first-team All-Howard County honors in her only season with the Vikings.

"Rachel is an outstanding student as well as basketball player," said Maryland coach Chris Weller. "She has excellent basketball skills and athletic ability that will undoubtedly be enhanced by her work ethic."

Cimmier got a taste of her future playing days last month at the Maryland Women's Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star game. Not only did she get to play at Maryland's Cole Field House, but she also joined forces on the same team with two other Terrapin recruits, McDonogh's Sonia Chase and Easton's Kelley Gibson.

On her new home court, Cimmier turned in one of her finest performances of the year, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to help her Freestaters team to an 84-61 victory.

Since November, Cimmier has come a long way. A terrific defensive player from the start, she struggled a bit with the adjustment from international rules to the local high school game.

Not only had she never played with the smaller ball of the women's game here, but she had some trouble with a tighter traveling restriction and the more physical play.

Still, Cimmier emerged as the dominant inside player in Howard County, averaging 12 points and 11.2 rebounds a game. She also shot 54 percent from the field.

Vikings coach Dave Greenberg knew all along that Cimmier would be a highly sought-after recruit. She narrowed her list to Maryland, Providence, Rhode Island and North Carolina-Wilmington before choosing the Terps.

"I think we just touched the surface of what she can do," said Greenberg. "She's going to get better every year, because she has all the tools."

Cimmier said came to the United States for two reasons -- to play basketball and to get an education.

A member of a French junior national team at 16, she has been playing basketball since she was 12. When she turned 18, she couldn't play on the junior team, so she began looking for opportunities in the United States.

Academically, Cimmier also has excelled, carrying a 3.8 grade-point average in some tough classes, including calculus. She took the Scholastic Assessment Test in November and scored above the national average in both the verbal and math portions.

Cimmier is the sixth girl signed in an impressive recruiting class for Weller, who returns seven players from a 15-13 team that finished 8-8 in the ACC. In addition to 5-11 guards Chase and Gibson, she has signed two 6-2 forwards, Karlisa Davis from Glassboro, N.J., and Stephanie Cross, from Spencer, N.C., as well as 5-8 point guard Demetria Tutt, of Owensboro, Ky.

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