Posted: April 27, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh head coach Sue Troyan has announced the newest addition to the women’s basketball team with Bethlehem native Courtney Molinaro transferring to Lehigh. A product of Allentown Central Catholic High School, Molinaro comes to Lehigh after spending the last two seasons at Penn State. Due to NCAA regulations regarding transfers, Molinaro will be prohibited from playing for the Mountain Hawks during the 2007-08 season, but she will be able to practice with the team.
“We are extremely excited about Courtney’s decision to join the Lehigh family,” said Troyan. “One of the recruiting goals in our program is to keep the best and the brightest players in the Lehigh Valley at home playing for Lehigh University. Although Courtney didn’t start her career at Lehigh, it’s a great feeling to know that she will finish it playing for our program.”
“Lehigh offers a great balance academically and athletically and it is a perfect fit for what I want right now,” said Molinaro. “There were a few other schools that I considered, but Lehigh was number one throughout the whole process. I’m familiar with the campus, Coach Troyan and a few girls on the team. In my heart, I knew it was the right place for me to finish my basketball and academic career.”
Continues Molinaro, “There wasn’t one reason why I left Penn State; there were many factors that went into my decision. I appreciate everyone at Penn State who helped me and understand my reasons for leaving and understand why this decision is right for me.”
While at Penn State, Molinaro played in 59 games, earning six starts her freshman year. She totaled 122 points, grabbed 158 rebounds and swiped 27 balls. Molinaro shot 50.5 percent from the field, making 46-of-91 shots. In her rookie year, Molinaro led all Big Ten freshman in shooting percentage by sinking 60 percent (36-for-60) of her shots and was typically one of the first post players off the bench. As a sophomore, she led the Nittany Lions in rebounds twice with a team-high seven boards against Ole Miss and Northwestern.
Prior to Penn State, Molinaro was a key figure for Allentown Central Catholic, who won three straight championships while Molinaro was part of the team. She averaged 15.6 ppg and 7.7 rpb her senior season and ended her career with 1,543 career points, which ranked fourth highest in school history. A two-time captain of the Vikettes, Molinaro led the Lehigh Valley Conference in scoring as a junior. The 2005 Allentown Central Catholic Best Female Athlete received several honors twice in her career, including First-Team All-Area and First-Team All-State selections, conference MVP and Street & Smith honorable mention All-American. Named the Morning Call Player of the Year in 2005, Molinaro was listed as one of McDonald’s High School Basketball Top 100.
“Courtney is a very talented basketball player who brings a tremendous work ethic and a high level of success in everything she has done,” adds Troyan. “We believe that she will help us to reach our competitive program goals of a league championship and an NCAA berth.”
Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletic Communications