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Perkiomen Valley junior Quinn Boettinger off the board early to Navy

12/20/2023, 8:30am EST
By Owen McCue

By Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

Navy women’s basketball coach Tim Taylor was honest the first time Quinn Boettinger talked to him on the phone.

During a 45-minute conversation with Boettinger, a junior forward at Perkiomen Valley, Taylor explained his program isn’t for everyone.

“He basically said, you’ll come onto campus and either love it or realize it’s not for you,” Boettinger said. “And I knew the minute I stepped on the yard, that that's where I wanted to go.”

Boettinger announced her verbal commitment to play for Taylor at the Naval Academy on Wednesday morning — four and a half months after her first visit to Annapolis, Md.

Perkiomen Valley junior Quinn Boettinger announced her commitment to Navy on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

Even with two high school seasons left at Perkiomen Valley and a summer of AAU with the Comets, Boettinger, a 6-foot-3 forward, decided she wasn’t going to be swayed. After she had some down time last week to make the necessary calls and finalize the process, she made the decision Monday.

“In the back of my mind it's where I wanted to go,” Boettinger said. “I didn't really want to keep waiting. I just kind of knew what my heart wanted.”

Boettinger had several other options to choose from. 

Drexel was the first program to offer her last October before her freshman season. St. Joe’s, Lafayette, Binghamton, Army, Holy Cross, Rider, Manhattan, Marist, Oakland, Columbia and Penn all swooped in this past summer.

Navy first reached out June 1, when college coaches were allowed to contact her for the first time. Her recruitment moved swiftly as she was on campus for a visit by July 3.

Her top two choices were Army and Navy.

Boettinger’s grandfather was in the service, but there weren’t any other military ties that pulled her toward one of the academies. She did have a valuable resource in her cousin, who is a freshman at the U.S. Military Academy and on the practice team for the Army football team. 

“It seemed like a totally new world for me, so many amazing opportunities, connections,” Boettinger said. “I never even considered that I would ever consider one of those schools.”

Boettinger is the third Division I commitment from her Comets Class of 2025 team with Cardinal O’Hara’s Molly Rullo (Drexel) and Archbishop Wood’s Emily Knouse (St. Joe’s) already announcing their college picks. The Hawks and Dragons were Boettinger’s top choices if she didn’t choose one of the academies.

She’s a 6-foot-3 forward in her third year as a starter at Perk Valley. Boettinger was one of four freshmen in the top of the Vikings’ rotation in 2021-22. She earned second team All-Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division honors during her freshman campaign when she averaged 10.2 ppg to help her team to a PAC runner-up finish and to the District 1 Class 6A and PIAA quarterfinals. 

Last year, Boettinger began to dominate. She averaged 16.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 2.0 bpg to earn first team all-league and all-area honors as the Vikings won the PAC and District 1 titles.

Navy likes the fact that Boettinger can step outside and shoot 3s. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

“Freshman year, small fish in a big pond. I mean, I was terrified, I’ll admit,” Boettinger said. “But I slowly just kind of developed into the speed of the game. And Jen Beattie, Emma Miley, who were my seniors my freshman year, they helped all of us honestly tremendously. 

“The fact that our team was so young, and we were all in the same boat, we all kind of developed together.” 

She’s a strong rebounder with a polished post game. She’s also a very good free throw shooter, up to 79 percent this season after leading the Vikings at 74 percent a season ago. She sealed last season's District 1 championship at the foul line.

Boettinger missed on six attempts from 3-point range as a freshman, but has honed in on improving that aspect of her game. Vikings head coach John Russo gave her the green light to shoot from deep last season and she knocked down 10-of-20 shots from beyond the arc.

That’s a skill Navy believes will translate to the next level.

“(Navy likes that I’m) well rounded, can go back to the basket, but also stretch the floor and kind of play an outside position too, and not just secluded to the inside post position,” Boettinger said.

“They always talk about being adaptive and kind of using the players that they have rather than running the same thing consistently because that's how the team will work.”

Boettinger has stood out among her peers since she picked up a ball at age 3. She played up an age group or two in her early years in the Perk Valley Youth Basketball rec league. Dreams of playing in college took hold quickly.

Her parents Paul and Dana have supported her dream. Trainers like Bob Koch and C.J. Scott helped her develop toward it with coaches from PV and the Comets continuing to hone her game. 

Boettinger still has a long time to wait before she actually plays at the next level, but she can consider her one mission complete.

“I've dreamed of playing at the college level since I started,” Boettinger said. “ It's just always been a goal and like it's just incredible to be able to say like, ‘I've achieved it.’ And not only that, but I've found somewhere that I know will make me so happy and feels like home because at the end of the day, it is a second home.”

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