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Player Profile: Melanie Hingher
Melanie Hingher doesn’t seem to care too much about rankings, hype and the glare of cameras.
“We’re the defending champions and people never talk about us,” Massapequa’s sophomore forward said after convincingly knocking off Mepham in the Nassau County Class AA semi-finals. “I don’t mind being the underdog, though.”
Hingher may need to adjust to more attention; she and her teammates will take the stage against a higher profile Baldwin team that plays a similar style of basketball this Saturday - regular substitutions, pressure defense, both teams rely heavily on athleticism. The press, the high school hoops basketball elite and more than likely a scout or two will get a chance to see Hingher in action against solid competition.
Hingher (who averages just shy of 16 points per game) leads the Lady Chiefs on scoring, and she cements her presence in the paint doing double duty as the team’s leading rebounder. Hingher’s length is often a problem for opposing teams on Long Island, which leads her to the charity stripe, where she’s able to convert – she used this tactic to plaster Mepham for 19 first half points. But the 6’0” Hingher’s athleticism and ability to run the floor separate her from the average post player.
“We’re a team of athletes, not basketball players,” said teammate, Rachel Seiber.
In fact, Hingher prioritized sports of other seasons above basketball until recently.
“I was really big in to soccer,” she admitted with a laugh. “But the way things have been going, I’m starting to lean more towards basketball.”
Though both Hingher and her team have remained a bit below the radar for a defending championship unit, the rumblings are beginning.
“I’ve gotten some Division three offers,” she said. “Some schools are contacting my coach, but it’s still early.”
With two summers and two seasons to blossom, Hingher is on the right track should she stick to the hardwood. And with the best competition coming through AAU opportunities, Hingher has signed on to play with Lightning Lavy this summer.
But defending a title supersedes AAU circuits and college offers. For now, Massapequa repeating as Nassau champs and getting past Suffolk are priorities number one and two on Hinger’s agenda.
“We have a lot of respect for Baldwin, so we want to play good defense and execute.”
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