Meredith Monroe: Making it Count
BY GREG KINCAID, Athletic Communication Student Assistant
Being a Penn State athlete is one thing. Being a Penn State student-athlete is another. In the Penn State Lady Lion Basketball program, academics are stressed just as much as basketball. "Academics are very important," says Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington. "It is very important to coach kids who take their academics seriously because we feel like if they are disciplined and driven in the classroom, then they are going to have their same work ethic with basketball to develop their skills. It is really important."
One of the many Lady Lions that have demonstrated the same drive in the classroom and the court is sophomore Meredith Monroe. The 6-3 forward from Olney, Md., has come a long way in the past year. As a freshman last year, Monroe saw a total of 27 minutes in a total of nine games. Through the first four games of the season, she saw a total of 34 minutes of action, including starts against Arizona and Charlotte.
Besides basketball, one of Monroe's main focuses is her academics. The business major said that coming to Penn State and being a Lady Lion was a factor in choosing. However, Penn State's academic reputation was significant as well for her. "I knew I either wanted go into engineering or business when I came here," she said. "I knew that both colleges were very well known."
Something that sticks out to Coach Washington about Monroe is her great ability to focus on both academics and basketball. Washington praises Meredith's self-discipline and maturity, which leads to her academic success. "The balance is tough," said Washington. "She is in a tough major with a lot of course work. She is very disciplined. She is very mature, in terms of taking care of her responsibilities."
Monroe believes that it is difficult to balance both her academics and basketball. She says that it is all right for basketball to be her life, but the academic side is just as important as basketball. "It's difficult," said Monroe. "You just have to know when you need to set time aside for studying."
One of the great resources that are offered to Penn State student-athletes is The Morgan Academic Support Center. Through the center, student-athletes are assigned to counselors that can provide advice on their academic and career plans at Penn State. For Monroe, the academic center has been the key to her academic success and she credits her advisor, Sue Sherburne, for helping her to achieve that success. "Sue helps me with scheduling classes, she sets me up with tutors and is just an over great support system," she said.
Monroe's most distinguished accomplishment in high school was being inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS). In order to obtain the ranks of NHS, the student must achieve academic success in the classroom, show leadership, participate in extracurricular activities, and provide service to the community. A student is eligible to get his/her junior or senior year. Monroe received the honor her senior year of high school. "It meant a lot for me," she said. "I didn't make it my junior year. It was devastating from me so I had to work a lot harder my senior year. So once I got it I was so happy."
Monroe is majoring in international business at Penn State. Someday, she hopes to live and work in Italy. "I've always loved Italy, so International business is what I'm looking at right now," she said.
Her main focus right now is to get into the Smeal College of Business, which requires a 3.3 GPA for financing and a 3.0 GPA for any other major. "I'm very close to getting in. I'm praying for that. It is tough to get into Smeal."
In her first two games played so far this year, Monroe is averaging 2.0 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game. Rebounding is what head coach Coquese Washington expects out of Monroe this year. "Rebounds, rebounds and rebounds," she said. "That is what I expect from Meredith this year. The more rebounds she can get, the better."