By Mickey Winfield: Freedom New Mexico
Another year at the Naval Academy means more confidence, more playing time and more exposure for Portales native and former Lady Ram Morgan Hill.
Hill is a sophomore at the Annapolis military academy, and this year, she’s better prepared to tackle the unique hardships that playing a sport at a military academy presents.
“I know where everything is now. I kind of feel like I know how everything works,” Hill said. “I know when I’m going to have to go to classes, I know when I have to go to practice, I know when I’m going to have to go study. I’m more conditioned to the routine this year and that makes it easier.”
“There’s a lot of difference in last year,” Morgan’s dad Greg Hill said. “This year, she doesn’t have to deal with the adjustments of being a freshman heading off to school, being away from home and also playing college basketball.”
Hill and the Middies are playing Army in a big rivalry game today, which will be shown on tape-delay on ESPNU. The game tips off at 12:30 MST and the tape-delayed broadcast will begin at 4:30 MST on ESPNU.
“I’m excited about it,” Hill said. “I think it’s cool because since I’m so far away from home, people don’t usually get to see me play.”
So far this season, the Middies are 4-15, 0-4 in the Patriot League.
In her 18 games played this year, Morgan has started seven games and she averages nearly 20 minutes per game.
Morgan is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 6.2 points per game, and she leads the team in field goal percentage, at .447. She’s also fourth on the team in rebounds, averaging 3.2 boards per contest.
The Navy games are usually online and that gives her parents and grandparents a chance to watch nearly all of her games.
“It’s nice to watch, she’s starting a few games now, and we didn’t miss any of her games when she was growing up,” Greg said.
“It’s so exciting,” Hill said. “I love getting to play and if I’m going to play I want to be able to contribute because that’s not fair to my team if I’m out there on the floor and not doing my job. I want to be getting rebounds or getting points or something. I like getting to play a lot better than being on the bench.”
“She grew a lot,” Greg said. “And she came back a different person. She’s a lot stronger person in terms of voicing her feelings and she’s not the soft girl that left.”
Even though Morgan knows that ESPNU is hard to find in the area, she offers up a solution for her friends and family to see her play today.
“Of course I want everybody to watch,” Hill said. “That would be so exciting because we had a lot of people that would come to our high school games and enjoyed watching us play so that would be cool if they could all watch on TV.”