Cloud discusses commitment to Maryland
News of junior combo guard Natasha Cloud's commitment to Maryland last weekend traveled fast around the Cardinal O’Hara community.
This week, when Cloud, 6 feet, has walked the halls of her Springfield, Pa., high school, a common phrase has been repeated.
“All the guys, they always chant ‘Maryland’ when I walk down the hallway now. They’re like, ‘You’re a Terp, you’re a Terp.’ And I’m like, ‘Yep, I’m a Terp,’” Cloud said with a laugh.
Her in-school cheering section followed a round of applause last Saturday before Cardinal O’Hara’s game against Upper Dublin. Cloud had told her teammates and coaches before the game about her commitment to UM. When she walked into the gym, her teammates and several fans in the stands started clapping to acknowledge her choice.
“It meant a lot that they know [about my commitment] and they’re supportive of my decision,” Cloud said.
Cloud, who picked Maryland over offers from Ohio State, Miami, Pittsburgh, St. Joseph and Villanova, visited College Park earlier this fall with her parents. She said her family immediately felt comfortable on the campus.
“The whole staff is incredibly nice. They’re probably the sweetest people I’ve ever met,” Cloud said. “When we got up there, it was my mom and my dad and [Terps assistant] Tina Langley came out and greeted us and she gave us hugs. They’re very encouraging coaches, too.”
Cloud said she was impressed with the Comcast Center crowd. The atmosphere reminded her of her high school experience on a larger scale. Cardinal O’Hara, the No. 6 team in the country per USA Today, won the Philadelphia Catholic League championship last season at The Palestra. Cloud thinks experiences like that will benefit her in College Park.
“I think [playing in front of big crowds is] going to get me ready for college,” Cloud said. “Being a big team, we get a lot of people at our games. I think I’ll be ready for it when I get to Maryland. [My high school experiences will] calm my nerves and help me be ready for that environment.”
Cloud’s focus for this season and next is on winning another Philadelphia Catholic League championship. But she said she’s relieved to have made her commitment and is excited for her arrival in 2010 to College Park.
“I’m going to work hard for the school and I’m going to work hard to bring a lot of wins and accomplishments back to Maryland.”