Area athlete gains valuable experience

By Todd Fuqua

Courtesy photo Carrizozo senior Summer Morf, right, is shown with Tucson Rattler Red coach Tim Larsen at a tryout camp for the team. Morf made the traveling squad and will play through the summer in preparation for her senior year.

It’s been a challenging school year for Summer Morf.

Courtesy photo A look at how many girls were on hand to try out for 11 spots on the Tucson team.

She started her high school junior year at Capitan before transferring to Carrizozo in the spring.

Morf plans to return to Carrizozo for her senior year, but not before spending a summer playing AAU basketball.

“I started playing basketball in third grade and have been on club teams ever since,” Morf said. “I’ve played both in my school and whatever club team I’m with.”

This summer, Morf will be playing for the Tucson Rattlers, a traveling team with multiple squads that plays in tournaments around the country.

Morf said she decided to join the Rattlers based on the proximity to New Mexico and her familiarity with the program and coach Tim Larsen.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Carrizozo senior Summer Morf, right, makes a layup during Tucson Rattler practice.

“I’ve played on teams in California, Washington and Alaska, all over the west,” said Morf, whose mother – Sally Paul – has had government jobs and is always on the move. “I know these players from other teams, and I’ve known the coach for a while.”

Morf had to try for one of 11 spots on the Red team, and it wasn’t a sure thing she’d make it. Several other girls had the same dream Morf did, but she had what it takes to make the squad.

Now that she is on the team, she’s learning new styles of play and coaching that she hopes to take with her when she finishes her high school career at Carrizozo.

“I’ve known (Carrizozo coach) George Vega, and he works with my mom,” Morf said. “He’s really excited about what I can bring in. I’ll be playing with girls that are better than me, and I’ll get better in the process.”

For most girls, being on a team like the Rattlers is an excellent way to get looks from college scouts, but Morf has already figured out her future plans.

She’s earned a Congressional nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and has already visited the campus.

Morf is hoping her time with the Rattlers will improve her skills enough that she can make the Midshipmen team.

Morf’s plans also include being a Naval medic, meaning she plans to take pre-med courses at the Academy.

“I really liked (the visit) and hope to play basketball for them,” Morf said. “Really, I’m just doing the club game to gain the experience.”

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