Amelia Strong admits it was tempting potentially having a chance to play college basketball with a couple familiar faces she has played with at Cardinal O’Hara.
In the end, the O’Hara junior opted to go her own way. The 6-foot-2 Strong verbally committed to attend Long Island University once she completes her high school education.
Strong made the announcement Friday on Facebook. She accepted the offer over one from Big 4 school Niagara University. Former O’Hara teammate and Sister Maria Pares Buffalo News Player of the Year Angel Parker just completed her freshman season with Niagara while current Hawks classmate Aaliyah Parker recently verbally committed to join her sister at Monteagle Ridge.
“I did think about going there (Niagara), but the coaching staff at LIU, the school, the potential of the team and campus – it felt like a good fit,” said Strong as to why she ultimately chose Long Island.
Strong completed her fourth varsity season. She played as an eighth-grader and freshman at Niagara Falls High School. She transferred to Cardinal O’Hara as a sophomore.
Her game improved noticeably this past season as Strong made the jump from All-Western New York honorable mention in 2019 to second team All-WNY this past season. She earned Monsignor Martin Class AA championship-game MVP honors after helping the Hawks win their seventh straight postseason championship by scoring 22 points during a 77-53 triumph over St. Mary's.
Strong, a first-team All-Catholic selection, led O’Hara in total points (373) and rebounds (173). She scored 17 or more points 12 times en route to averaging 16.2 points per game.
Strong becomes the sixth player from O’Hara in the last five seasons to earn a Division I scholarship.
“Everything happened very fast with Strong’s signing,” Hawks coach Nick O’Neil said. “I’m very proud of her. She grew tremendously over the last year and has a very bright future for us next year and for Long Island University for years to come.
“I am always humbled when a kid gets a scholarship offer because of the journey that they took to get to this moment.”
Strong thanked the O'Hara coaching staff as well as her AAU team coaches for helping her reach this point. She's a member of the Gauchos, an AAU team based out of New York City.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Shark family," she said.