South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Star LHS basketball player taking her skills to Southern Illinois

Lindbergh High School basketball player commits to play ball at SIUE
Photo by Ellie Marshall

Next stop, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for Lindbergh High School graduate Rory Conboy, as the Cougars have come calling.

The standout basketball player for the Flyers will continue her playing career in the fall, as she signed with SIUE.

Her high school coach, Michelle Pitroff said Conboy’s hard work is one of the reasons for her success.

“No one works harder than Rory,” Pitroff said. “Over the last few years, she has put in many unseen hours in the gym working on her game, staying late after practice, coming in during lunch, whatever it takes to keep improving. She studies the game and is always wanting to know what she can do to get better. It takes a lot of hard work, sweat and dedication to get to the level she’s at. It’s been a pleasure to watch her development through the years and I’m just really happy for her that all her hard work has paid off.”

The two-time First Team All-Conference selection chose SIUE for various reasons, she explained.

“I chose SIUE for many reasons,” Conboy said. “Starting from my official visit, I really enjoyed the coaching staff a lot. They created such a welcoming environment while also getting me around the players, which was rare on all my other visits. I also loved that it was closer to home for me.”

Being close to home means Conboy can see her family often, which was another factor in her decision.

“I come from a big family, and it is a big factor I took into consideration,” she said. “The campus is beautiful and a perfect size, which I liked.”

SIUE is coming off a rough season, finishing 5-26, but the Cougars are facing top-tier talent now that the school is in Division I. For instance, this season, SIUE faced the likes of Oklahoma State and Michigan, along with a tough conference schedule.

“SIUE is getting a player who is eager to learn and continue to improve,” Pitroff said. “Rory is the type of player who will do whatever it takes to be successful. I think she’ll fit in nicely at SIUE and the culture that Coach Quigley is building over there. I’m excited for her future and what’s to come.”

Conboy said she credits her parents for helping her arrive at the decision to attend SIUE.

“In my recruiting process, I always leaned on my parents and valued their options a lot,” she said. “They came with me to meet the staff over dinner and really got to know everyone I would be around.”

During her four years playing at Lindbergh, Conboy became a 1,000-point scorer and was selected as the 2023 Conference Player of the Year in her junior season.

Conboy said she is ready to move to the next level and play with athletes at the next skill level.

“I am looking forward to playing with high-level, skilled players,” she said. “I will be around like-minded people who are committed to the game. I am also excited to learn from the coaches and create a bond with everyone there.”

As far as preparation for taking her game to the next level, Conboy is already hard at work preparing in the gym.

“I maximize gym time whenever I can,” she said. “I am working closely with my trainer on injury prevention and balance and creating stronger habits to hopefully make a smooth transition.”

Conboy reflected on her improvement over her four years as a Flyer.

“Throughout my high school career, I can confidently say that I developed into the player my younger self doubted I could be,” she said. “I figured out how to be competitive and use my body, size, and score from all levels of the court. I got better through constant training sessions working on more actual things that I would do in a game, and perfecting my role-player moves.”

Looking back on her four years on the court at Lindbergh, Conboy said she will definitely miss some things.

“I will miss my family being super close, coming to each game, but also my teammates and coaches,” she said.

Conboy said some of her favorite memories of playing at Lindbergh include hitting a buzzer-beater during her sophomore season and the senior trip her team took to Indiana, where they played in the Hoosiers gym, the location where the movie “Hoosiers” was shot.

The soon-to-be Cougar also thanked the ones who helped her get to this point in her life.

“Definitely my parents, for helping me through the process, sending me to camps, endless tournaments, countless hotels, etc,” Conboy said. “Both of my coaches, Pitroff and Zehner, for supporting me all four years, helping me grow as a person, and our friendship.”

Pitroff credited Conboy for helping turn the culture of the girls’ program around at Lindbergh.

“Rory is very passionate and competitive,” Pitroff said. “She loves her team and wants the best for them. Her teammates follow her lead. She has definitely helped change the culture of Lindbergh Basketball. She can even often be found helping out at Flyers Elite feeder team practices. Players gravitate towards Rory’s energy and passion. It’s definitely something we will miss but hopefully underclassmen have learned from her. On the floor, she’s an all around player. She helps us in so many ways on both sides of the floor.”