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Viking in the Spotlight: Women's Basketball Player Morgan Papp

12/14/18


Morgan Papp is the MCCC Player in the Spotlight.

Sophomore Forward Morgan Papp

Hometown: Bordentown, NJ
High School: Bordentown Regional High School

Morgan Papp had no idea her sophomore basketball season at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) would come to an end in December.

During a routine set, Papp drove to the basket and converted on a 3-point play. “I knew I had come down awkwardly after the layup,” Papp remembered. “But I made the layup, finished the free throw, and was even able to play through the rest of the quarter.”  

Following the Lady Vikings’ dismantling of Bucks County College, 66-16, which included Papp’s 10 points and five rebounds, Papp learned that she had torn the meniscus in her left knee.

Until her injury, Papp had been a bright spot on Head Coach Michael Tenaglia’s roster. Through her first six games she averaged 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds. Her best performance came against Erie County College on Nov. 4, when she connected on three 3s and finished with 12 points.

“Morgan Papp is one of the hardest working athletes I have coached at Mercer,” Tenaglia said of the sophomore. He added, “She brings tremendous energy and a non stop attitude, and is probably the fittest athlete we have. Even after practices and games, Morgan heads to the fitness center where she continues to build her strength and stamina.” Three days after sustaining her injury, Papp was sitting courtside, cheering on both teams in a double-header against ASA College and Union County College.

Papp’s engagement with Mercer Basketball stems from her diverse background as a student-athlete. At Bordentown Regional High School, Papp was a multi-sport athlete, competing in soccer, basketball and bowling.

“My grandparents owned a bowling center, so I just had to bowl,” Papp said. “Freshman year of high school I bowled in the winter. Sophomore year I played basketball. Then, in junior and senior year I did both.”

In her last year of high school, Papp earned first-team honors for both bowling and basketball, though her love for hoops won out whenever the schedules conflicted.

When it came time to attend college, Papp enrolled at Temple University, albeit without signing on to any of the school’s athletics teams. “I went to Temple and thought school by itself was really boring. I wanted to get involved more, and playing sports was a way to do that,” Papp said.

After mulling it over, Papp transferred to Rowan University, where she appeared in eight games. But for several reasons Rowan didn’t prove the right fit.

A conversation with her neighbors in Bordentown led Papp to Mercer. “My neighbors are really good friends with Mercer’s Athletics Director, Mr. John Simone, so that helped. I met with the coaches and since then everything has worked out really well. I love the team and we have so much fun together.”

She likely won’t share the court with her Mercer teammates this season, but Papp has another way to enjoy the camaraderie.

Haylee Kieffer, another women’s basketball player at Mercer, is also out for the season after tearing her ACL.

Papp and Kieffer have plans to rehab together as they await their returns to the hardwood. “We are actually both getting the surgery the same day at the same place, which is pretty cool,” Papp said. “It’s awesome that we can support each other.”

Though Papp intends to play for the Lady Vikings next season, she is taking every day as it comes.

“Honestly, I feel really bad for leaving the girls,” Papp admitted. “But everything happens for a reason. You just have to trust the process.”

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