Surrounded by her entire family, Oliver Ames girls' basketball standout Asia Mitchell signed a letter of intent Monday to play basketball next year for UMass Lowell.
Mitchell, who has started at point guard for OA since her freshman year, will look to remain a leader on and off the court for the River Hawks next season.
"It’s an awesome school," she said. "The coaching staff is amazing and it’s a great educational experience...My role as a freshman will be to have some leadership skills and being a captain of varsity over the past few years has definitely helped developed those qualities and it will help me there as well."
Mitchell hopes to help fill some some big shoes in Lowell. The River Hawks are losing point guard Bianca Simmons to graduation. Simmons earned Northeast-10 player of the year honors last year, leading the the nation in Div. II with 28.2 points per game.
The River Hawks are coached by former Foxborough High and Boston College great Sarah Behn. Former Oliver Ames standout and 1,000-point scorer Ericia Anderson is also an assistant coach there.
The River Hawks are coming off an 18-10 season that took them to the Northeast-10 quarterfinals last year. Their style of play, Mitchell says, matches that of the Tigers.
"They’re an up and down type of team and that’s how we play here at OA and that’s how I’m used to playing," she said. "That’s comfortable for me – playing a fast paced style."
She'll join a freshman class with a familiar face. Hockomock League opponent and Foxboro forward Ashley Snyder is heading to Lowell next year.
"I know how she plays from scouting her and playing against her so it will be a comfortable environment to play with the people that I’m used to seeing," Mitchell said.
The letter of intent signals an official end to Mitchell's playing days in the Nixon Gymnasium.
"I’m going to miss seeing coach [Elaine Clement-Holbrook] and all my teammates every day and knowing my scheduling and routine," she said. "Going to college is a big change and basketball becomes a job."