Devils Prospects: ASU women's basketball commit looks to fight climate change

Four-star verbal commit Meg Newman hopes to further combat climate change during her time at ASU

When ASU women's basketball recruit Meg Newman isn't on the court, she is focused on the issues surrounding climate change.

Ever since she watched a documentary about the environment freshman year, Newman has committed to using her platform as an athlete to focus on climate action. 

"If I could have that voice (against climate change), more progress will be made," Newman said. "I’m a vegetarian, I try to walk all my talk, so, I do everything I can to minimize my carbon footprint."

She said she plans to major in business sustainability and is considering minoring in public policy in pursuit of a law school degree.Newman said she wants to help Arizona become a more environmentally sustainable community.

"I think ASU has made a very concerted effort to become one of the most sustainable universities in the world and that being something I stand for so strongly, that’s the kind of place I definitely want to represent,” she said.

Newman hasn't always had her heart set on both climate action and basketball.

Newman originally thought she would go on to play soccer in college, because the 4-star basketball recruit from Indianapolis didn't believe that she would be recruited by 18 different schools for her talents on the court.

“I focused on soccer so much more," she said. "As a kid, (it) was almost second nature to just play soccer.” 

Growing up, she was in the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, what she called one of her biggest accomplishments in her career as a goalie. As a soccer player at North Central High School, she believed playing collegiate soccer was a possibility, but the offers never came. 

So, about a year ago, Newman started her journey toward her new goal of playing Division I basketball, with ASU first noticing her at the Adidas Gauntlet tournament in Dallas. Upon arrival on campus in Tempe for her official visit, Newman immediately clicked with the Sun Devil coaching staff.

“I knew I connected with (head coach Charli Turner Thorne) on a different level than I connected with the coaches before," Newman said. "So, I was like, don’t get too ahead of yourself here, but she’s an awesome person. (ASU) was really the first place I can envision myself wearing the uniform, playing for the team."

Newman began receiving offers as early as her sophomore year but waited until her junior year to commit to the Sun Devils. Following an at-home visit from the Sun Devils staff with her family, Newman knew ASU was the school for her. Newman eventually verbally committed to play for the Sun Devils on April 4, 2020. 

Her trainer, Brandon Clay, said Newman's skills are "far beyond her years." 

"She will provide Charli Turner Thorne with a versatile option, capable of playing any of the frontcourt positions depending on the opposing matchup," Clay said. "She has the skill to take it coast to coast, with the size to be a consistent presence around the rim with her rebounding and defensive prowess.”

Teammate Ava Couch echoed similar sentiments about Newman's skills on the court. 

"Meg has only tapped into the beginning of what she can become and her developing talent will bring many things to ASU," Couch said. "She will bring not only finishing at the rim but moves in to short pull-up jumpers, which are almost impossible to guard."

On the basketball court, Newman models her game after 2019 graduate, Robbi Ryan. Having compared her jump shot and mobility to Ryan’s, she also hopes to follow in the footsteps of two-time All-Pac-12 player and former Sun Devil Kianna Ibis.

"I looked up to Kianna a lot, she was a really solid player," she said. "(With) Robbi Ryan, her jump shot looks a lot like mine, so just watching her play off the dribble ... is really inspiring."

Newman hopes to play professionally one day and wants to follow in the footsteps of other notable Sun Devil alumni while also creating her own name. 

“I hope people don't say it's just James Harden went to ASU," Newman said. "I hope they say James Harden and Meg Newman went to ASU."

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