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Hard work pays off as Plymouth Whitemarsh’s McTamney commits to USciences

Plymouth Whitemarsh's Anna McTamney (32) puts up an acrobatic layup as part of her huge offensive performance against Pocono Mountain West in their PIAA-6A first round game at Souderton Area High School on Friday, March 6, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

Much like her game, Anna McTamney’s college announcement wasn’t big on flash.

The Plymouth Whitemarsh senior committed to the University of the Sciences through an Instagram post this week, becoming the latest local player to join the ranks of the CACC power. McTamney, a relentless worker, and the Devils got some help coming together, but it paid off for both parties.

For now, McTamney plans to keep working and hoping for a senior year with the Colonials.

“They had so many things to offer from the school and the basketball program,” McTamney said. “They’re a Top 20, Top 10 team in the country so they have a strong program and education-wise, I’m basically guaranteed a good job when I graduate and location-wise, it was the perfect distance.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Anna McTamney (32) scores on a layup against Pocono Mountain West in their PIAA-6A round game Friday, March 6, 2020 at Souderton Area High School. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

McTamney has been a mainstay in the Colonials’ lineup since she arrived at PW, playing in all 86 games over her first three seasons and starting the last 84. The 5-foot-10 senior can play as a guard or in the post and brings a consistently high motor to the floor every game that may not yield a ton of highlight plays, but more than enough winning plays.

On top of being a high scorer and leader for the Colonials, McTamney has spent the last two summers playing for the successful Comets AAU program based in Delaware County. The Comets, who have sent plenty of players to USciences, helped bridge the path between player and program.

“(USciences head coach Jackie) Hartzell told me she had waited to reach out to me because she never thought I’d be interested in them,” McTamney said. “My AAU coach told her I was open to play for them and she should get in contact with me. It was a nice surprise, I had talked to a few other schools and went on a few visits, but I felt USciences was the right fit for me.”

Even with the NCAA in an extended dead period since March, McTamney said the whole process was pretty smooth and only took a few months. Once USciences got in touch right around the time the Comets resumed practices using the Philadelphia 76ers Fieldhouse in Delaware, they forged a connection quickly.

Upper Dublin sharpshooter Dayna Balasa, who also plays on the same Comets team as McTamney, committed to the Devils earlier this summer. While the two are major rivals in high school, McTamney said she’s happy to keep playing with Balasa and feels the two years teaming up with players like Kaylie Griffin, Grace Niekelski and the rest of their Comets roster has upped her game.

“Playing with all my teammates has helped a whole lot because most of them are going Division I,” McTamney said. “I have to play against them in practice too and they help me get better.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Anna McTamney drives to the basket as Upper Dublin’s Jackie Vargas looks to block during their District 1-6A quarterfinal on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 (Gene Walsh/For MediaNews Group)

When the PIAA season was suspended and later cancelled in March, the Colonials saw their campaign end ahead of a Class 6A quarterfinal matchup with Bethel Park. It also ended a terrific season for McTamney, who had averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals per game for the 25-4 Colonials.

McTamney heads into the 2020-21 year with 838 career points and 601 career rebounds but her only worry at the moment is the prospect of having a senior season. While the Comets were able to participate in a few tournaments this summer, the PIAA has yet to announce its plans for the fall season.

For McTamney, who also plays volleyball at PW, the uncertainty has been frustrating. She and fellow co-captains Kaitlyn Flanagan and Gabby Cooper, also fall athletes, are taking their leadership role seriously even as questions about the start of high school athletics swirl.

“Kaitlyn, Gabby and I have been talking about trying to get some players together to shoot around at a park,” McTamney said. “We can’t have any open gyms yet but we’ve been talking with (PW coach Dan Dougherty) about doing something because we haven’t seen each other in so long.”

During the shutdown period from March through June, McTamney did what she knows best and found whatever means she could to keep working. The senior put in time to continue working on her shot, which will only make her more difficult to guard when she goes hard to the rim.

Whatever the outcome is for the fall and possibly the start of winter sports, McTamney is just going to keep working and waiting.

“I’m just hoping for the best to come out of it,” McTamney said. “Even if that means we can start back up in January, I just hope I get to have a season. Even if it’s cut short, I feel like that’s still better than not having anything at all.”

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