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Mason Hoops Star Verbally Commits to Penn

Stephanie Cheney verbally commits early, focuses on senior year on and off the court.

Come summer, Stephanie Cheney won’t have to worry about mulling over offers from college basketball programs because the junior has verbally committed to the University of Pennsylvania.

Cheney, Bull Run District Player of the Year the last two seasons, said she called the coaching staff at Penn Tuesday to say she’s onboard and ready to become a Lady Quaker. Playing basketball for fun and not an audition for a college is what Cheney is looking forward to now.

“July is a huge recruiting time for basketball,” Cheney said Thursday. “It’s a fun time but a stressful time when you know you’re being looked at by college coaches. Now I’ll be able to just go out there and have fun.”

Cheney helped the Mustangs to the Virginia High School League Group A Division 2 in March and was named . She also became the school’s (1,474 career points through the championship game). Head Coach LaBryan Thomas said Cheney has also amassed 765 career rebounds. Cheney also received interest from James Madison University, University of Richmond and other Ivy League schools. Penn competes on the Division I level in the Ivy League. The school also participates in the famed Philadelphia Big 5, which includes Penn, Temple University, Villanova University, St. Joseph University and LaSalle University.

Cheney shared the news of her decision to head to Penn with family and friends over the last couple days. She said her dad was excited but her mom “was a little hesitant.”

Thomas, who has coached Cheney throughout her high school career, said he is sure she will do well in her new environment when she leaves Mason.

“She is a great athlete and a great person and comes from a fine family,” Thomas said. “We look forward to one more great high school season from her.”

Penn finished with a 13-15 (6-8 in Ivy League play) record last season. Cheney said she is looking forward to contributing on the court and looking forward to earning a degree from the school. She’s uncertain what she wants to major in just yet, but Cheney, who maintains a 3.9 GPA, said she’s looking forward to the day she ventures to Philadelphia for college.

“I think I’ll be stepping into a family situation there,” Cheney said.

Cheney hasn’t had the chance to tour much of the “City of Brotherly Love,” but has toured the campus and figured it’s not far from Swarthmore College where her older brother, Jordan, goes. She said her parents would be able to venture to Philadelphia and see both kids play basketball for their respective schools. Jordan is a forward at Swarthmore.

“I’m so happy to have found a place so early,” Cheney said. “I know I’m a junior and it’s early, but I would make this decision again.”

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