New team yields another fresh start for Springstead’s Reiser

Courtney Reiser
Recent Springstead High graduate Courtney Reiser signs with neighboring Trinity College of Florida in New Port Richey. Tigers Head Coach Tom Clark was also on hand. Photo provided

Lady Eagles cager inks

with Trinity College

of Florida in New Port Richey


It’s a common misconception that all prep basketball players have to average doubles figures in scoring or rebounding or possess a 32-inch vertical leap to play at the next level.

So meet the 7-Up or the Uncola of local girls basketball: F.W. Springstead’s Courtney Lauren Reiser.

Courtney Reiser
Courtney Reiser

The recent Lady Eagles graduate believes she took advantage of a new lease on life on the hardwood courts by transferring to the Mariner Boulevard campus in Spring Hill following the midway point of her junior year.

After one season, a her senior year at SHS, Reiser’s points per game average stood nearly identical at 1.32 to what she produced at NCT (1.33).

Yet, with more playing time, Reiser felt a renewed freedom on the court.

Trinity College of FloridaSo much so that she recently opted to sign with the community college-based Trinity College of Florida in New Port Richey under skipper Tom Clark.


Ahnesti Allen
Springstead’s Courtney Reiser defends against NCT’s Ahnesti Allen. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Reiser 101

Courtney was born in Clearwater as the oldest of three children to Edward and Karen Reiser.

Her father played hoops at Ridgewood High while her mother is “the brains” of the family.

Since she was a tot, Courtney has only known Spring Hill as her home.

Like many young people venturing into organized sports for the first time, Reiser traced her hoops genesis to the local YMCA.

Starting at eight years old, Courtney played hoops for four seasons.

Next, she morphed into recreational basketball in West Pasco County until she was 16.

She even played a year of AAU ball on the Tampa Elite, alternating between small and power forward.

At Powell Middle School, Reiser played JV-level hoops as a sixth-grader before making the varsity squad as a seventh-grader.

As an eighth-grader, she transferred to Explorer K-8 and played on the varsity squad.

Next, she enrolled at Nature Coast Technical and played three seasons.

As a freshman and sophomore, he participated at the junior varsity level.

In her third year with the program under Emily Gore, she was promoted to varsity and totaled four points in three games.

When the curtains came down on that season, Reiser was searching for greener pastures and decided to transfer to F.W. Springstead.

She witnessed from the bench with her new teammates the Eagles in their first-ever regional playoff game loss at Seffner-Armwood, 55-54.

After throwing the shot put that spring for the track and field squad, she played in 19 games as a senior.

Though her scoring average was basically the same as it was at NCT, Reiser scored almost six times as many points (25).

Sarah Vo
2016-17 Springstead seniors included (front) Sarah Vo and back row (left to right): Tierra Houston and Courtney Reiser.                                                   Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

She was one of three seniors alongside Tierra Houston and Sarah Vo that enabled SHS to roll out to a 12-10 won-lost slate and a runner-up trophy in Class 7A, District 8.

Reiser, who played sparingly, was part of the Springstead’s first-ever regional quarterfinal win over Tampa-King, 51-46.

In the Class 7A, Region II semifinal at Wiregrass Ranch, Sunlake eliminated SHS, 71-53.

No matter how small her contributions, Reiser felt she had a purpose and filled a role for the Lady Eagles.

“I love the intensity of the game,” declared Reiser. “Every time you’re out there, you have to give 110 percent and leave it all on the floor.

“I made the most strides in my mental approach,” offered Reiser. “Initially, when I got out there I was so nervous, I wasn‘t sure what kind of player I could be. Defense came easier to me. I have a knack for reading a player.

“My biggest difficulty? That’s getting my shot off. I’ve gotta work a little harder on that. I’m the type of player who is not afraid of getting a rebound and getting after it on defense.”

“…I came to Springstead because I didn’t feel like I could succeed at Nature Coast,” revealed the 5-foot-8, 165-pound forward. “I never felt more at home than I was at Springstead. It was like I was suppose to be there.

“After I transferred there, I had a half-hour conversation with Coach (Jay) McNerney. He immediately made me feel right at home; I was extremely comfortable, even though I was the new girl.

“What I liked most? Probably the family atmosphere. Coach made me feel welcomed and I loved every minute of playing for him,” noted brown-tressed and brown-eyed Reiser. “I went into practice every day with a good outlook. I didn’t care about the minutes during the game or whether I started or not. Being selfish wasn’t an option.”

For the ex-Shark, being a part of the first Springstead team to sweep the home and away series against their archrivals was the frosting on the cake.

 Jay McNerney Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
Jay McNerney                                                Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

In Jan.5, 58-43 nod over the Sharks in Brooksville served as Springstead’s first-ever series victory at NCT.

“When I was at Nature Coast, we didn’t like Springstead,” explained Reiser, whose younger brother Trey still plays there. “Nothing meant more than beating them.”

On why the 2016-17 team was special, “When I first transferred there I watched them win. Everybody knew what they needed to do,” shared Reiser. “No one expected us to earn another district (runner-up) trophy. I loved it. It all comes back to the Springstead coaches. Coach McNerney, I have an endless respect for him.”

Next step: Trinity Tigers

During her high school tour, Reiser maintained a 3.0 grade point average.

Her favorite courses included English and Earth Science.

She was a member of the Key Club at NCT and SHS.

Since there are is journalism curriculum per se at Trinity, she’ll major in general studies.

Reiser aspires to do her own ESPN talk show.

Trinity College of Florida Tigers3She whittled her choice of college to Trinity University, Hillsborough Community College and Webber International University in Babson Park.

She ultimately visited Trinity and HCC.

“Picking Trinity was unlike anything else,” noted Reiser. “There are only 250 kids. The school is almost next door to Mitchell High, so it’s convenient to get to and from. I thought I could excel in a smaller school setting.

“When I visited, I instantly clicked with Coach Clark. We formed a connection. I could see myself growing under his leadership.”

Reiser was recruited as a small forward.

She believes she brings intensity and energy. She describes herself as loud and is willing to give a hand on defense.

“The game is played at a much faster level in college,” stressed Reiser. “There’s a lot of rotation and you have to have a lot of chemistry. I realize I’m not 6-foot-4, so I have to able to do it all to succeed.”

Academically, the student to teacher ratio at Trinity is tiny: 11:1. That appealed tremendously with Courtney.

“Instead of being stuck in classes with 400 other kids, there will be a lot more one-on-one with the teachers. That makes for better connection,” emphasized Reiser.

Courtney Reiser
Springstead’s Courtney Reiser wasn’t afraid to stand her ground on defense, especially here against NCT. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Making the move

Reiser has never been really independent of her family.

In fact, when she was handed the SHS playbook, her whole family participated in the plays that were drawn up just so she would get a hang of the terminology.

“I’m a family-oriented person,” declared Reiser. “We do everything together. My parents are my best friends.”

Looking ahead toward college life, “I’m the kind of person that likes to jump into things at 110 percent. If I need help, I ask my family; they wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Reiser. “Our first game is scheduled for Oct. 25, so I’m on the clock.”

Before reporting to Tigers, Reiser works as a Youth Sports Coordinator at West Pasco YMCA.

Besides helping the YMCA guests, she takes time afterward to work on her mid-range jumper on the court.

Courtney can also be spotted as a server at the AppleBees at County Line Road.

Before heading to college, “I’m no longer in high school mode,” explained Reiser. “I know I need to continue working hard for college.”

As far as her prep legacy, “Never be afraid of standing alone,” stressed Reiser. “In high school, I wasn’t a real social person. I was never into parties. Everything I did, I wanted to do at 110 percent and I’ve always kept family first.”

By the Numbers: Springstead’s Courtney Reiser

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

Courtney Reiser
Courtney Reiser



























































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