Bulldog Fisher signs with Terrapins

By Brad Stratton
Staff Writer

WITH the final year of Rumson senior Chrissy Fisher’s career as a Bulldog closing in on its halfway point, she has secured her basketball future as a turtle.

A Terrapin … to be exact … for the University of Maryland.

Fisher officially committed to Maryland on Nov. 14, signing her letter of intent to play for Maryland at the College Park campus.

“I’m extremely happy for her,” Rumson girls basketball coach George Sourlis said. “She’s earned this. This is the by-product of hard work and hours of practice. She’s worked hard to get to this level. She’ll be playing for a top-20 program, and deserving so.”

The decision and announcement ended a busy period for Fisher, who was previously deciding among many other schools.

“Chrissy possesses great skills both in the post and the perimeter,” Maryland women’s basketball coach Chris Weller said in a news release. “Her long-range shooting ability makes her an extremely versatile player who will add tremendously to our style of play.”

Fisher will be joining a talented team. Although not as well known as its men’s counterpart, the Maryland women are ranked in the top-25 this season and could contend with Duke and North Carolina State in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Terrapins qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season, losing 83-69 to Colorado State in the first round.

Fisher doesn’t expect to get substantial playing time in her first year, the 2002-03 season.

“I think my freshman year will be mostly for learning,” she said. “I’m not expecting to play that much. But if learn from the other players, hopefully I’ll play more in my sophomore year.”

For Fisher, her recruitment process has gone on for the last year, although it didn’t heat up until the past summer.

“I was focused on the (basketball) season,” Fisher said. “I wasn’t really concentrating on college. It was out of my head for a while.”

When the school year ended and spring gave way to summer, the real recruitment process began. Fisher was getting interest from numerous schools, including Maryland, Delaware, Rutgers, Boston College, Boston University and the Virginia Commonwealth.

Her first visit to Maryland came during the summer months.

“I basically talked to the coaches for a while, and then one of them took me on a tour of the campus,” she said. “And on the way, we ran into some of the players.

“I loved it. The campus was beautiful. I loved everything about it.”

Despite Fisher’s first impression, she wasn’t sold on Maryland, instead wanting to look at other schools to ensure she made the best decision.

That is, until her official visit on Sept. 6.

“(Maryland) did something different than most schools,” Fisher said. “They brought all five of their recruits there at the same time. And we basically stayed with the players and went to class with them. They took our group down to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and we got to tour the new arena that’s being built.”

It didn’t take long for Fisher to make up her mind after that, as she orally committed to Maryland on Sept. 10.

Fisher is one of the Shore Conference’s elite players, having placed on the All-Shore first team after averaging 17.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game last season. She also make the second team All-State.

“She the best player I’ve ever coached,” Sourlis said. “I’ve coached a lot of players, and a lot of great ones, but there are things that separate her from them. What separates Chrissy is her uncanny ability to put team on her back and carry them. It’s her rebounding and versatility that makes her the top player I’ve ever had.”

Fisher started her high school basketball career as a freshman, and quickly made an impact on the team, averaging 12.3 points and nine rebounds.

She followed her freshman year with an equally impressive sophomore campaign, averaging 15.4 points and 11.9 rebounds in making the All-Shore first team.

Overall, she’s scored a total of 1,240 points and tallied 880 rebounds in three seasons, and has helped the Bulldogs to a 67-15 record in the past three years.

“I knew she could play right away,” Sourlis said. “I knew she was skilled. There were some things she needed to improve on. I kidded with her that she was a skinny rock at first.

“She’s improved her ball handling and the range of her jump shot. She’s just gotten tremendously stronger.”

With her college decision behind her, Fisher can focus on the upcoming season, her last one with the Bulldogs. She can go into the season focused on basketball, and not where she’ll end up next.

“It helps her a lot,” Sourlis said. “I know how the business end of (college decisions) can be complicating. Now she can can relax and focus on playing. The pressure’s off.”

Asbury Park Press (Red Bank Reporter) – November 29, 2001