McLaughin signs to play at PNCPublished 9:29pm Thursday, March 22, 2012
Matthew McLaughlin, the Niles Vikings senior point guard, has signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his basketball career at Purdue North Central in Westville, Ind.
“I took a visit to PNC and liked everything about it,” said McLaughlin. “The two things that I really liked the most were the coaching staff and the location. I have the opportunity to stay close to my family and I liked everyone that I met: the coaches, and my future teammates and I feel like I can fit in perfectly.”
One of those future teammates will be current classmate and lifelong best friend Logan Harpenau, who had previously committed to Purdue North Central.
McLaughlin was the floor leader for a Vikings team that went 19-5 and captured the schools first District Championship in ten seasons. He averaged 11.5 points per game, and 2.9 assists while connecting on 45 percent of his field goal attempts, including 35 3-point baskets.
“I came up to watch a game to see what Niles had to offer and Matthew’s leadership stood out right away and it was evident to me that we (Purdue North Central) needed him on the floor,” said PNC head coach Kris Schnatz.
Coach Schnatz envisions Matthew being a shooting guard for the Panthers as opposed to the point guard role he played in high school, but knows with his basketball IQ he can’t afford not to have the ball in McLaughlin’s hands.
“I really like his ability to knock down the three and the outside shot. I think he can do well coming off screens and moving up and down the floor. I am really excited about his ability and his opportunity to play right away,” he said.
McLaughlin stepped up his game in the Class A state tournament helping the Vikings reach the regional semifinals where he scored a team-high 22 points in the Vikings’ loss to Okemos.
“Matthew works his hardest every single play and it’s nice to see good things happen to good people,” said Niles high school coach Todd Pawielski. “He is an outstanding shooter and he has a real knack for making the biggest shot of the game at the right time, and I think Purdue North Central is getting a steal and he is going to have a wonderful career there.”