Krystal Forthan Finds Academic, Athletic Fit in WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Krystal Forthan Finds Academic, Athletic Fit in WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

Krystal Forthan made the decision to transfer from Louisiana State not as an unsatisfied basketball player looking for more playing time or for a change of scenery, but rather as a student hoping to better her education.

Wrapping up her first year studying kinesiology and sports medicine, Forthan believed she was not in the best situation to excel in her studies the same way she hoped to excel on the basketball court.

She wanted something more, and she found it at West Virginia University.

"I just felt like they have everything I need in order for me to extend my education beyond the four years of college that I have," says Forthan. "The academic advisor knows a lot and she was really helpful on my visit."

Forthan's release from LSU became official on Friday, she made the trip to Morgantown on Saturday, and by Sunday, she was signing a grant-in-aid from WVU complete with signatures from athletic director Oliver Luck and head coach Mike Carey.

She posted a photo of the document to her Facebook page, declaring herself a Mountaineer.

A McDonald's All-American coming out of Georgetown High School in Texas, Forthan was a hot commodity when she made her first college decision. Averaging 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, the 6-foot-4 forward is anxious to continue her career in West Virginia.

"It fits the stuff that I want to do," she says. "I'm just trying to win a national championship and they're all on the same page as I am."

Forthan says she has spoken with former WVU guard Sarah Miles, who played for the same AAU team, TeamXpress, years before her. Miles told Forthan that not only could she find success with the Mountaineers, but that Coach Carey would help her grow as a person just as much off the court.

Miles knows from experience, and her firsthand account went a long way in securing Forthan's move to Morgantown.

"I consider her a sister and she really told me everything about West Virginia," Forthan says of Miles. "She's really a mature woman, so I feel like he [Carey] can help me with that, to become more aggressive on the court and in the classroom."

In addition to what Miles shared with Forthan, she was also able to look at Carey's track record with transfers to get an idea for the path she would be on if she played for him.

Ayana Dunning, who also came to WVU from LSU, and Christal Caldwell, a Florida transfer, were the Mountaineers' fourth- and second-best scorers last season respectively.

They each became key contributors in their first years of eligibility, and their development on the court is a sign of what can be accomplished if Forthan follows their lead.

"I've watched both of them play and just to be able to see how they're happy and they can contribute so much to the game that I'll be able to come in the following year and do the same thing," she says.

Of course, Forthan uses that key phrase, "the following year." As a transfer player, she will have to sit out her first year at WVU and will not begin hitting the court in games until the 2013-14 season, when she will have three years of eligibility remaining.

But that fact does not rattle her, it just means she will have to take on a different role in year one.

"I'm a big cheerleader for my teammates," says Forthan. "You can ask anyone, I cheer everybody on, so I'm going to become their No. 1 fan and cheerleader and I'm just going to support them."

Then she will relinquish those responsibilities to the people in the stands and the actual cheerleaders on the sidelines so she can suit up for the Mountaineers.

It is a journey to where she believes is the best fit for both aspects of her title as a student-athlete, and it begins when she reports to campus on May 20 to kick off the first semester of summer school.   

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