Unexpected Letter Changes McHenry’s Path

Unexpected Letter Changes McHenry’s Path

For freshman basketball player Amanda McHenry, coming to Carnegie Mellon University was an easy decision – once she stepped on campus. As one of the new faces on the 2012-13 women's basketball team, she had a big role in pushing the program to new heights this past season, even though she wasn't sure she wanted to play a sport in college.

A lover of sports and numbers, McHenry played a lot of different sports growing up in New Jersey but was set on concentrating on academics and wanted to attend a bigger institution – somewhere like Duke, UNC or Penn State.

Then a letter came from the Carnegie Mellon coaching staff after an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball tournament.

"I thought, 'okay, that's a good school,' but I really didn't know if it would be a very good fit for me," McHenry said. "My mom suggested I check it out and see what it's about. As soon as I stepped on campus and met the coaches and team, I fell in love. I'm really happy I decided to come here."

Academics at the Tepper School of Business were also a big draw, as the self-proclaimed perfectionist could get the best out of her education.

"I want to be the best at everything I do," said McHenry. "It's a lot of pressure but I really want to do well in school; I study a lot."

The 5-foot-10 guard wasn't quite sure what to expect during her first year of college and has even been surprised with how her interests have changed.

"I came in thinking I'd like accounting because I like math and numbers," McHenry said. "But I was thrown a curveball when I got here and began liking things I didn't think I would."

Now McHenry has her eye on finance but is also interested in consulting after hearing others talk about it.

As for basketball, her career couldn't have started any better, as she helped the team reach its goal of a winning season and higher finish in league play.

"I absolutely loved playing basketball this year," McHenry exclaimed. "I'm so happy I decided to play basketball in college because I loved it. This season was so much fun."

Part of that fun came as the team finished with its most wins (13) since 2002-2003 and ended with five University Athletic Association victories.

Thinking back on the year, McHenry said she couldn't have asked for a better coaching staff.

"Everyone says how they've [coaching staff] sparked us and are helping to build the program," McHenry added. "I had a lot of fun. We all worked really hard.  We had a successful season and I'm expecting us to do really well in the future."