Kristen Confroy is a star shortstop for for Solon’s varsity softball team. And she’s the starting shooting guard for the varsity basketball team. And she also plays goalie for the school’s varsity soccer team. Suffice it to say, her high school letter jacket is getting a little crowded.
However, it’s her basketball game that got her noticed by The University of Maryland, where she is committed to play in 2014. Blue Star Basketball ranked Confroy No. 54 nationally in the Class of 2014. During her junior season, she averaged 17.6 points, 4.1 assists, five rebounds, and three steals per game.
“Growing up with two, older brother significantly older than me, I was always around sports,” said Confroy. She has been playing recreational softball since she was five and she joined a travel team when she was seven. “I love being outside. I grew up playing around in the backyard and I’ve developed a love for the game,” said Confroy.
Maryland is a big-time basketball school, but Confroy said she is absolutely sure that she’ll be prepared for what coaches and other teams throw at her. Confroy believes her experience in all three sports helped to make her a better overall athlete. “The lateral movement in soccer transfers to defensive slides in basketball and diving as goalie helps with diving for a softball and the quick first steps in basketball helps to have a greater range of fielding for softball.”
She also believes that the various movements required in the different sports helped to keep her healthy throughout the year. “In addition to helping performance,” explained Confroy, “moving from sport to sport has definitely helped in terms of injury prevention because my body isn't used to constantly doing the same movements.”
Although her positions in each sport were pretty different from each other, Kristen said she had one goal for every sport – to be a threat. “Every opponent and every game calls for something different from me for the team to be successful,” expressed Confroy. “Whether it’s score 25 points or have 12 assists, hit a home run and go 4/4 or get consistently walked, I pride myself in doing whatever necessary for the team to be successful as a whole.”
She enjoys all three sports, but Kristen said basketball is her favorite. She said she loves the team aspect of all three sports, but she really enjoys the fast pace and the intensity of basketball. Although, she was recruited for a basketball scholarship, Confroy said that since she’s been playing all three sports for so long it will be hard to stop and she hopes she will be able to continue playing in some aspect in college.
Confroy received scholarships for basketball from several schools, but ultimately decided on Maryland. However, other schools did express interest in her regarding her softball and soccer potential. Confroy explained, “For the most part basketball was the only sport I went to exposure events for, but both my soccer and softball coaches let me know that there were schools that had interest in me.”
Confroy said she enjoyed the recruiting process at the beginning. “Who wouldn’t enjoy being told how great you are?” she said with a smile. But once she realized she was comparing everything to Maryland, she knew she had found the school for her.
“The more schools I evaluated, the more I realized Maryland was the perfect fit for me. I was impressed by the school’s campus, academics, team and coaching staff. I believe Maryland is the place where I can be most successful.”
She said she had always dreamed of going to a big school. Although she liked the idea of being able to contribute right away at a smaller school, she realized she wanted take on the challenge of playing at a big school, like Maryland.
Confroy won’t be the only Ohio native for the Terps this year. Malaina Howard of Twinsburg and Chloe Pavlech of Cincinnati will both be sophomores next year when Kristen joins the team. Kristen says she is familiar with both players. Confroy and Howard were huge border rivals in high school basketball and Howard’s team knocked Solon out of the Regional Tournament and won the state title in back to back years. Confroy said she also has familiarity with Pavlech through the AAU circuit in the summer.
“Malaina was very helpful in the recruiting process and I’m looking forward to finally being teammates as opposed to rivals,” said Confroy.
Confroy was the first 2014 recruit for Maryland, but she has met the entire team and coaches several times from going to games, camps, and campus visits. She said she’s looking forward to getting to know the team and the other recruits even better.
Confroy said she has some personal goals for her freshman year at Maryland. “I hope to contribute to the team in whatever way I can and I want to effectively fulfill my role for the team, whatever that may be. Right now, I’m just focused on making incremental improvements in basketball and academics on a daily basis,” said Confroy.
Kristen says she’s not sure what she plans to major in yet, but right now she’d like to do something in the medical field pertaining to sports. “After school, I’d maybe like to play basketball overseas or go to medical school, but I’m triying to keep my options open.”
Kristen has won many accomplishments and recognition for her prowess on the athletic field as well as in the classroom – she’s a National Honors student – but she said her proudest accomplishment was committing to Maryland. Confroy described, “My dream has always been to go to a big school with great academics and play basketball there, so to have it come true is a great feeling!“
-Written by Ben Schwartz