The recruiting process is finally over for Gisell Peguero. The Midwood senior point guard committed Friday to Division II Felician College in New Jersey. And for her, it’s been a long time coming.
“It took forever,” Peguero said with a laugh. “It feels like I took [weight] off my shoulders.”
It all came together kind of quickly with Felician. Peguero said she met coach Steve Fagan last year after a game and he told her that if he needed a point guard he would have signed her right then and there. But Fagan never needed a point guard and Peguero was almost ready to commit to Virginia Union.
Last week, though, Peguero got a call. It was Fagan and a point guard spot opened up. She visited the school and Friday she gave Felician a verbal commitment. She will be getting a full athletic scholarship.
“I really like the school,” Peguero said. “I felt it was a better fit for me [than Virginia Union].”
There was a time when Peguero was unsure of what her college destination could be. She tore her ACL as a sophomore and had an admittedly uneven junior season recovering from the injury.
“It was definitely hard,” she said. “But I think it was more of a mental thing with me. It was more psychological. I was fine physically, but in my mind I was still injured.”
Peguero said she didn’t feel completely fine until near the end of her junior season. Then early this preseason she tweaked the knee and was unsure and fearful again. But coach Artie LaGreca said he never saw a change in her demeanor or her effort.
“She was a quiet leader,” LaGreca said. “She loves playing. I always felt she lived for basketball. She liked practice. A lot of kids don’t like practice. She never took a day off. There was never a point where I thought she was in practice dogging it.”
Peguero plans to take that “commitment and passion for the game” to Felician. LaGreca thinks she’ll be pretty solid on the court, too.
“I think she’ll be a good point guard in Division II,” he said. “I think her better days are still ahead, as she gets more individualized coaching, better strength and conditioning. The further she gets away from [the injury], her body starts getting stronger and stronger.”
Her mind is already there. And the fact that the recruiting process is over can’t hurt.