Longhorns’ Julia Ingler is Rollins signee
By Rick Pedone
Harmony High guard Julia Ingler joined the Rollins College basketball program after signing a letter of intent to the Winter Park school during the early signing period.
Ingler was the Osceola News-Gazette Co-Player of the Year with Osceola’s Montana Bass last season.
Lady Tars Coach Glenn Wilkes Jr. came to the Harmony campus recently, where he joined Ingler, her family and members of the Harmony coaching staff for a signing ceremony.
Wilkes is the most successful coach of any sport in the Sunshine State Conference, with 603 victories over his 27-year career. He took the Lady Tars to the NCAA Div. II national semifinals in 2012.
Ingler also considered Gannon University in Erie, Pa., because she built a relationship with Coach Jim Brunell, who recruited Ingler while he was the coach at Anderson University in South Carolina.
“I would have enjoyed playing for him, but Rollins is a great opportunity for me and I didn’t want to pass that up,” she said.
She will join former Harmony teammate Marie Gilbert, a forward, at Rollins.
“Sure, having Marie there helped me make my decision,” Ingler said. “It will be fun to play with her again.”
Gilbert, a 2012 Harmony graduate, played for Rollins as a freshman but tore an ACL in the preseason and is red-shirting this year.
Ingler, a self-described “gym rat” who averaged 14 ppg. last season, said she is looking forward to her college career.
“They said I’ll probably play 2 (shooting guard) or 3 (small forward), somewhere where I can handle and shoot the ball,” she said.
Ingler, who has played basketball since she was 6, has helped the Lady Longhorns reach the regional finals each of the past two seasons, where Harmony ran into strong Haines City teams.
But, with several of her teammates returning, Ingler is convinced that the team can take another step this year.
“We’ve played together a long time,” she said. “I have to thank my teammates, my family and my coaches for helping me come this far.”
Harmony Coach Paul Strauch said that Ingler is one of the best competitors he has coached.
“Julia always steps up in big games,” he said. “She always has the green light to shoot, but she understands the game. She sees the floor and can find open teammates.”
Ingler plans to major in education or business.
The Lady Longhorns are 10-2 and have clinched the Orange Belt Conference championship. Harmony also is unbeaten (7-0) in 7A District 5 this season after its 53-36 win over Lake Nona Thursday.