McCONNELSVILLE - Morgan High girls basketball coach Tim Bowman witnessed the transformation of Darian Apperson into one of the most dominant basketball players in Lady Raiders history.
"She was just skinny, not very strong and not sure whether she was gonna be a post player or what when she was a sophomore," Bowman said. "She just started developing a pretty good post game that summer before her sophomore year. In between her sophomore and junior year, she grew a couple inches, got bigger and stronger and became a real dominant post player her junior year."
That dominance continued into Apperson's senior year this winter, as she averaged 17.5 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game and helped lead Morgan to a second-place finish in the Muskingum Valley League.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Morgan’s Darian Apperson (center, front) signed a National Letter of Intent Monday to attend the University of Charleston where she will play basketball next winter.
Now Apperson will take her talents to the collegiate level, as she signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the University of Charleston (Division II) next season.
The Golden Eagles compete in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Guided by head coach Adam Collins, Charleston went 16-13 overall last season and 11-11 in conference play.
"I went down there for a visit and I really liked the coach," Apperson said. "I liked the campus, the things the coaches said and how they play."
Apperson, who will major in athletic training, tallied 857 career points for the Raiders, fifth-most in school history. Her shooting percentage of 52.9 percent (156-295) in her senior year is the second-highest single-season mark the school has ever seen and helped her earn honorable mention All-Ohio status.
"(Charleston) is gonna get somebody that will never be satisfied with where she is at," Bowman said of Apperson. "She always wants to get better.
"She just loves the game."
The Raiders posted a 15-8 overall record in the 2012-13 campaign and were 11-5 in the MVL. The 15 wins were the second most in school history, bested only by the 1991-92 Lady Raiders that notched 16 victories.
Apperson was extremely instrumental in the success of the team, and will likely make big contributions in college due to her relentless work ethic.
"I've always told my coaches that if I'm doing something wrong or I'm not playing to my potential, yell at me," she said.
That's where Bowman came in.
"He's pushed me to play harder," Apperson said of her head coach. "If I'm not playing as well as he knows I can play then he gets on me."
Apperson also considered playing for Stacia Shrider and the Marietta College Pioneers, but in the end decided Charleston was the way to go.
Her goal is to "Hopefully just go there and be a standout by the time I'm a senior. I want to be the person that other teams look at and be like 'You've got to get on this girl.'"
There is no denying that if Apperson's college career is anything like her high school career, she will certainly help the Golden Eagles soar to new heights.