Curtners to play college ball at Volunteer State

Friday, April 15, 2011
Present at the signing last Friday were top row from left, FHS Principal Danny Morgan, Lady Rocket head coach Jeremy Jean, Vol State head coach Chris Harris, Forrest assistant coach Ashley Hobbs, and Forrest Athletic Director Scott Delk. Bottom row from left, Dani Curtner, Anna Curtner, Christina Curtner, and Tony Curtner. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

Chapel Hill's Christina and Anna Curtner, along with brother Ben are triplets and last Friday the two former standout Forrest Lady Rockets decided that Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin would be the perfect destination to continue their already successful careers as members of the Lady Pioneers' squad.

"I am super excited to be signing Christina and Anna Curtner today," said Vol State head coach Chris Harris. "They are two players I targeted early on for our 2011 recruiting class."

The Curtner girls are not only successful on the hardwood, they are even more successful in the classroom with Christina (4.0 G.P.A.) earning valedictorian honors and Anna (3.95 G.P.A.) right behind her sister as salutatorian.

"If you had a definition of a student athlete, these two would be it," said Harris. "Top of their classes academically, very successful basketball players and I am looking forward to coaching them. I expect an immediate impact as freshmen coming in and I would not have recruited them if I didn't expect them to have an impact right away."

Not to anyone's surprise, they both want to study medicine and become orthopedic doctors.

Christina led the 25-9 Lady Rockets in scoring this season with a 15.8 average, threw down 65 three-pointers, dished out 4.5 assists per game, grabbed an average of 5.1 rebounds per contest, and shot 87 percent from the free throw line.

Christina was named to the Regular Season All-District Team, the District 9-A Tournament Team, and was the Region 5-A Tournament MVP.

"Me and Anna have grown up watching basketball with Pat Summit and Geno Auriemma and we have always, since the day we have been born, wanted to play basketball," said Christina. "I am excited about Coach Harris and I am looking forward to playing at the next level."

Anna finished the 2010-2011 campaign with an 11.6 scoring average, 2.0 assists per game, 4.2 rebounds, and shot 82 percent from the free throw line.

Anna was also a member of the District 9-A Regular Season Team and Region Tournament squad.

"This is so exciting," said Anna. "It is a good feeling knowing that my hard work has paid off and I get to continue playing and do what I love and go to Vol State and get to the next place I want to be."

Asked about the 2010-2011 Forrest season, Anna said, "As a whole, it was a success. We went far, we knew it would be hard, and it was. We stuck together as a team and never crumbled and always kept going. We hated to lose that game to Wayne County, but as a whole I know it was a success."

The Lady Rockets tied Moore County for the regular season district crown with a 13-1 record, lost the District 9-A championship game to Moore County 50-43, before coming back to capture the Region 5-A title with a huge 72-57 win over the Raiderettes at Community.

Forrest's season and the Curtners' stellar career would end in a 54-47 state sectional loss to the eventual Class-A state champion Wayne County Lady Wildcats in Chapel Hill.

Forrest head coach Jeremy Jean said, "I think it's a good fit for them and Vol State. They can play and that has been evident from when they first started to play. They have a chance to go there and play quick, and contribute to the team. They can just play."

The revolving door of Forrest players headed to next level on scholarships is what Jean is most proud of.

"That is what it is all about," said Jean. "They have a chance to get their education paid for. We want to win games and I want kids to leave here as still good kids and get their education paid for. It comes hand in hand. If you win games, the scouts come and watch them play. There are a few still here that have a chance to go play too."