ELK RAPIDS — There’s a good chance Rachel Hintz’s best basketball is still ahead of her.
That’s why the Northwood women’s basketball team has offered Hintz a spot in its program.
Northwood coach Jeff Curtis sees Hintz’s 6-foot-1 size, as well the fact that she is coming off the best season in her career, and believes Hintz can become a contributor down the road for the Timberwolves.
The likely plan is for Hintz to play with the Northwood junior varsity team this winter. Then, after a year of development, they think she will be ready to join the varsity squad for the 2016 season.
“He (Curtis) was really excited about my height and what that could bring to his team,” said Hintz, a two-year starter and three-year varsity player for the Elks. “He’s had some issues with injuries in his bigs in the past few years. He was hoping by my sophomore year I’ll be ready to play for the varsity.”
Hintz had other opportunities to play in college. Calvin, Hope, Trine and Northern Michigan were all interested, but Northwood’s academics were the reason she selected the Midland school.
“The thing that really solidified Northwood for me was the academic program — the accelerated MBA program,” said Hintz. “Being done with school in four years was really appealing to me.”
Academics are obviously a big part of Hintz’s life as she carries a 3.7 grade point average. Her on-the-court numbers are pretty good, too. Hintz is coming off her best year yet after scoring 15.5 points, grabbing nine rebounds and contributing three assists and four blocks. She broke the school record for blocks in a season and a career, according to head coach Dan Marquardt.
“She’s very athletic for her size. She’s got great instincts,” said Marquardt. “She’s an intelligent player. A great leader. I think she’ll be able to contribute a lot there, for sure.”