Thursday, June 16, 2016

Catching up with newest Lady Monarch, Hofstra transfer Kelly Loftus

Caught up with brand new Lady Monarch Kelly Loftus before Game 6 (she likes Golden State, by the way).

In case you haven't heard the latest, Loftus is the new kid on the Old Dominion roster. Hofstra's leading scorer a year ago (12.5 ppg) and a member of the 2016 all-CAA Tournament team, Loftus will be eligible for the 2017-18 season.

"I wanted a new start," she said.

Hofstra ended the season in the WNIT quarterfinals and Loftus, a 5-10 guard from Mount Vernon High in Alexandria, Va., announced shortly after she wanted to transfer closer to home for her final year.

"I was a little far the first time," she said. "When I was 16, I really wanted to be farther from home. As you get older, you learn and realize what you really want. A lot of my family is from Virginia and will be able to see me play, finally."

Loftus has been the Pride's top threat the last two seasons; as a sophomore she connected on 79 3-pointers, third best in program history. She said she drew interest from ACC and Atlantic 10 schools and visited UMass and Albany prior to coming to Norfolk and meeting with coach Karen Barefoot.

"It wasn't about the level; it was about finding the perfect fit," she said. "They have such a winning culture and a history of women's basketball. I appreciate what Coach Barefoot has done for the game."

Loftus said also having ODU assistant Jermaine Woods on staff influenced her decision. She knows him from her high school days. "He's somebody I can always talk to, and he made me feel like they really wanted me."

For the rest of the summer, Loftus plans to focus on online classes at ODU and working on her game with her high school coach, Courtney Coffer. She also is looking for an internship in the communications field and has already spent some time shadowing broadcaster Christy Winters Scott during the WNBA season.

Loftus will fill a void left by leading scorer Jennie Simms, who enters her senior year this fall.

"I think the best thing I will bring is scoring," she said. "That's a pressure I can deal with. I also have leadership and passion."

We're guessing those qualities are the biggest reasons why Loftus and the Lady Monarchs are a match.

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