The Seton Hall women’s basketball team landed a big-time recruit in late September, as McKenna Minter committed to the Pirates.
Minter comes from Lincoln Northeast in Nebraska, the same state where her father, Mike Minter, played college football prior to going to Carolina to be a part of the Panthers for nine years. During his tenure there, Mike was regarded as one of the better safeties in the league, so athletic blood runs in the family.
McKenna picked Seton Hall over a number of other options, including Big East rival Butler, Wichita State, Illinois State, and Denver. Following a visit to the South Orange, New Jersey campus, McKenna decided to come to Seton Hall and work under head coach Anthony Bozzella and the rest of the squad.
McKenna overcame plenty of trials and tribulations to get to committing to a Div. I program. In the middle of her high school career, McKenna went down with an ACL injury that kept her sidelined for over half a year. Despite this, Minter came back strong enough to keep interest from big schools even with a harsh recovery arc, which comes with any injury of that kind.
Coincidentally, her father also suffered an ACL injury in his pre-professional career and was able to bounce back to have a fruitful collegiate career to propel him into being a second round 1997 National Football League Draft. Eventually, Minter went on to win two National Championships – something the Seton Hall basketball programs hopes is an omen for things to come.
McKenna will join an already young Seton Hall squad that is in a time of transition. When she arrives on campus, Shadeen Samuels will have departed after her senior season, as will Alexis Lewis and Barbara Johnson, but the rest of the floor is wide open.
Minter can only hope to have a similar career arc to the one her father did in the NFL. Just a few games into his career, Mike became a starter for the Panthers and remained in a prominent role until he retired in 2007.
In his professional career, Mike was one of the most dominant Panthers defensive players of all-time. In 148 career games over nine years, he had 790 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 15 forced fumbles. He also had four defensive touchdowns.
In his time in Carolina, the Panthers made the Super Bowl in 2004 and played the New England Patriots. Mike and the Panthers, however, lost 32-29. He was a part of Carolina’ starting lineup for that matchup.
If the sports deities align in any way, McKenna Minter will have as productive and successful of a career as her father. That is one thing both Seton Hall and the player can only wish for, as the support system she has in place, both currently and based on prior history, will perhaps make for a match to bring the Pirates back to the NCAA Tournament.
Kevin Kopf can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @KevinKopfHWH.