MESCALERO – It really wasn’t much of a mystery where Katelyn Yuzos wanted to attend and play college basketball next season.
The Mescalero senior already has a sister – Lauryn – attending Nothern New Mexico College in Espanola, so it was pretty much a done deal.
Still, she did shop around a little.
“I did consider Eastern (New Mexico University in Portales), and even visited the campus,” Yuzos said. “But it didn’t feel like I’d fit in as well.”
Yuzos officially signed a letter of intent to attend the NAIA school starting in the fall, joining her sister, who will be a college sophomore and is already a big part of the Eagles basketball team.
“When I recruited Lauryn, I told her mom and dad it was a package deal,” said Mandy Montoya, Associate Head coach at NNMC. “When I saw them play (at Mescalero), I knew they had something special.”
NMMC isn’t in a set conference, rather playing a number of NCAA Divison II – and even Division I – schools in the surrounding area.
The Eagles regularly play both Eastern and Western New Mexico universities, Adams State in Colorado, and even the University of New Mexico Lobos at The Pit in Albuquerque.
“It’s a solid program. We’ve made the conference tournament two of the last three years,” Montoya said. “I recruited Katelyn because of her diversity. She can play several positions well, and that’s huge at the next level.”
But it’s more than Yuzos’ basketball ability that drew Mandy to her.
“We want high achieving kids,’ Montoya said. “She’s very family-oriented, and they push for education.”
Yuzos is excited to be playing with her sister again, but also excited that she’ll be going to a school where she’s got an entire network of ready-made friends.
“It’s like they’re my family already,” Katelyn said. “Lauryn really enjoys it there, and I really want to be up there with her.”