VERSAILLES – Versailles senior Lauren Monnin committed to play basketball for Edison State Community College on Wednesday morning.
Monnin, the daughter of Dan Monnin and Jodie Bohman, said she hadn’t really thought about playing college basketball until she had a very successful senior season.
“I never really expected it until this year,” she said. “Senior year went really well for the team and everything, and I started to love the sport more. So once it got toward the end of the season and colleges contacting you, you just got more interested in it and just seemed like something to do and save some money that way as well.”
While it took a while for Monnin to decide she wanted to play college basketball, it didn’t take Edison women’s basketball coach Tim McMahon long to decide he wanted her on his team.
“I think she’s a great kid, a great athlete,” McMahon said. “I watched her play earlier this year, and she probably had 26 points and about 10 rebounds, and I was sold. The first time I saw her. She’s really going to be great for our program.”
Monnin was drawn to Edison because it’s close to home and she felt comfortable with McMahon and his program.
“It’s local, and it’s close, and Tim is a really great guy, and I liked the whole program. There’s people there that I already know, and so I was just familiar with it so I’m comfortable with it,” Monnin said. “I know a lot of girls that will be playing with me, and I played with them before so I’m pretty excited to get back on the court, too, especially after a long break.”
In her first season as a full-time starter, Monnin excelled for Versailles this past year. She was named first team all-Midwest Athletic Conference by the conference coaches and third team all-Southwest District by the Associated Press after averaging a team-leading 12.2 points a game for the Tigers.
“She’s been a great leader for us, even when she was younger,” Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “You could tell that she had skills. She has great athletic ability to get to the rim, and that was something that’s very important to our team because we had lost a lot of scorers the past couple years. For her to step into the role that she played this year and just be that scoring threat, be that leading scorer on our team, great rebounder for us … She’s only 5-8, and she could jump over a 6-4 girl and score at will. Just that perseverance and never-say-die attitude is what’s going to take her to the next level.”
Despite being just 5 feet 8 inches tall, Monnin excelled for Versailles inside the paint. In college she’ll spend more time on the outside as a small forward or power forward, McMahon said.
“I think we’re going to have to work on her outside game a little bit because she’s going to have to play outside a little bit more,” he said. “But defensively she can play against anybody. She’s strong. She’s quick. So she’ll fit in just fine.
“When you’re athletic and strong, you’ve got a chance, even in the post. So she can play in the post, but I think mostly she’s going to become a three for us, three or four.”
Stonebraker is confident that Monnin will adjust just fine to the college level.
“She’s going to be tough to stop,” the Versailles coach said. “She just has that desire and want to do well.”
At Edison Monnin will study business.
“It didn’t take me too long to decide that,” she said. “There’s some business classes at Versailles I took, and I really enjoyed it.”
After two years at Edison Monnin plans to transfer to a four-year university to continue her studies. She’s undecided about continuing to play basketball after Edison.
“Jacki had mentioned some teams that were interested,” Monnin said. “I’m not sure yet, depending on how far away it was and like the cost and such. But if I’m still enjoying it in two years then I might do that.”