PRINCETON: Cook excited about PHS HOF nod


Before playing college basketball at William Paterson University

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Erin Cook wasn’t sitting around the house waiting for a call from the Princeton High School Athletic Hall of Fame committee.
But when the call came that she was going to be inducted as part of the 2017 class, the former basketball star was quite pleased to join a select group of athletes and coaches.
“I was surprised and excited,” the 2006 Princeton High graduate said. “It caught me off guard. I didn’t really think about it much because I didn’t know a lot about it. But then my sister (Shara) told me about it. She told me about the Hall of Fame and then she told me that she had nominated me. When I got in it brought back all these old memories.”
Cook will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Nov. 18 at Mercer Oaks in West Windsor.
She will be inducted along with along with PHS graduates Tom Patrick, Jesse Applegate and Fraser Graham. Former PHS boys’ basketball coach Doug Snyder will be inducted as well as the 1992-94 boys’ basketball teams that captured three straight state sectional championships.
The ceremony will run from 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $55 and all proceeds go towards scholarships for current Princeton High School student athletes.
Cook was a three-year starter on the basketball court for the Little Tigers, finishing her career with over 1,000 points. She became the third girls’ basketball player at PHS to reach 1,000 points scoring list.
“It was so much fun,” said Cook, who finished her career averaging 19.8 points per game for the Little Tigers. “The excitement and being on the court, I just loved it. I always wanted to be in the gym and playing basketball. I love to shoot the ball. Being with a good group of girls and having my mom cheering in the stands are things I will always remember. She was my biggest fan. I just loved playing basketball and winning. It was the best if we won.”
Cook enjoyed her time playing for PHS. She would have liked to have seen the team win a little more than it did, but was happy to be a part of a program that was making strides forward.
“I think we started to win some more than they had won previous years,” Cook said. “I remember one time we were on a winning streak and that was one of the best streaks the team had in a while.”
After graduating from PHS, Cook spent one year at Francis Marion University in South Carolina before transferring to William Paterson University. She was a starter as a junior and senior for the Pioneers, earning honorable mention all-league honors from the New Jersey Athletic Conference as a junior.
“I had some issues with my shins and sat out my entire freshman season at Francis Marion,” Cook said. “That was really upsetting. I went there mostly to play basketball and not being able to play and being away from my family was tough. I transferred and went to William Paterson and that was the best thing I could have done. I was close to my family and part of a very good program.
“I learned how to play basketball from Coach (Erin) Monahan. In high school I had fun and in college l learned how to play. Erin Monahan was the coach then and is still the coach. She taught me a lot and we had a good program that played in the NCAA tournament.”
These days Cook is a registered nurse, living in Woodbridge with her husband, Chris, and their 11-month-old son, Creed.
“I am at a few different hospitals,” Cook said. “I have been a nurse for five-and-a-half years. I work with adult patients. That was my calling. I love being a nurse. I can’t image doing anything else, even playing basketball professional. Being a nurse and helping others is what I was meant to do.”
Between her work schedule and having a young child, Cook doesn’t get out on the court often anymore. But she would like to get back to playing.
“I was looking for a rec team in Woodbridge,” Cook said. “We have a son who is 11 months old, so I am way too busy. But I would like to get back into it. I am looking forward to teaching my son how to play.”
Cook still gets back to Princeton often and enjoys watching her brother play for the John Witherspoon School team.
“I am there all the time,” she said. “My family is still there. My brother is at JW and he made the basketball team last year. I am hoping he makes it this year so I can get to his games. I was one of the loudest fans whenever I was at a game. Hopefully he’ll make the team at PHS and I can get back to see him play.”
Individuals interested in purchasing a ticket to the induction ceremony on Nov. 18 or contributing to the scholarship fund can contact Bob James at 921-0946 or email the Hall of Fame Committee at [email protected].