Horvatinovic
Horvatinovic

Jen Horvatinovic will make it official on Wednesday.

That's when the Red Lion High School basketball standout is expected to sign her letter of intent to play at Monmouth University, where she plans to major in health sciences. She would eventually like to pursue a career in athletics.

The 6-foot, senior made a verbal commitment to the Hawks last February. She said the Hawks' coaching staff and the school's proximity to York County were the deciding factors in her decision to accept the full athletic scholarship to the NCAA Division I school.

"I feel like I will be in good hands with (the Monmouth staff)," she said Tuesday evening. "And I wanted to stay close to home. I wanted my parents to come see my games. I was very excited and grateful that they wanted me to come and offered me the scholarship. I think it will be a good school for me."

Monmouth is located in West Long Branch, N.J., which is about a three-hour drive from Red Lion. The Hawks went 19-13 a season ago and finished second in the Northeast Conference.

"(Monmouth is) going to be graduating a lot of seniors after this season, so the 2013 recruiting class will be pretty important," Horvatinovic said. "Everyone (coming in) should have an equal chance of getting playing time."

Horvatinovic also considered Quinnipiac, American and Delaware, before choosing Monmouth. Her coach at Red Lion, Don Dimoff, believes Monmouth was a good choice.

"I think it's a real good fit," he said. "Their style of play is very similar to what we're doing. It should be an easy transition for her.

"She's really blossomed into an all-around solid player. She's a complete basketball player -- scoring, passing, handling the ball for her size -- she does everything well."

To excel in college, Dimoff said Horvatinovic will have to work on finishing around the basket and being more physical, but he expects her to do just that.

"She's gym rat," he said. "She doesn't mind working hard. She won't settle. She'll work to get better."

Horvatinovic will join another former York County standout at Monmouth. Eastern York High School graduate Andrew Nicholas is a starter on the Hawks' men's basketball team. The 6-foot, 5-inch sophomore is averaging 18.5 points per game this season after averaging 8.8 points per game as a freshman.

Before she heads off to Monmouth, Horvatinovic is looking forward to her senior season with the perennially strong Red Lion program.

She averaged 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.6 assists per game a season ago, helping the Lions finish 29-2 and win the York-Adams League and District 3-AAAA championships. She believes the Lions can have another strong season in 2012-2013.

"Any competitive school has high expectations of going to play for championships," Horvatinovic said. "We lost a lot -- five seniors -- but we have everything we need to go pretty far."

-- Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdis patch.com or at 854-1575, ext. 455.