Basketball's the Collegiate Path for Wacker

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 8, 2015 | Go to article overview

Basketball's the Collegiate Path for Wacker


Julia Wacker's service work with the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Palatine has taken her on missions to Louisiana, Colorado and New Jersey in recent summers.

Her collegiate work on the basketball floor will also take her out of state.

Fremd's 6-foot-2 senior forward recently committed to play basketball at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich.

And basketball is also the 'working' phrase.

Not too long ago, Wacker was leaning toward softball as her college preference for sports.

She started playing both in first grade.

"I've loved both my whole life," said Wacker, who has been a straight-A student her entire time at Fremd (4.59 GPA on weighted scale). "I knew I would have to give up one, but I would be happy playing either."

It was her softball game which attracted Hillsdale College's staff last summer.

Wacker was an all-area first baseman for coach Jim Weaver's Vikings last spring. She batted .404 with 32 runs, 14 doubles, 5 homers, 22 walks and a .513 on-base percentage.

"They actually wanted me first for softball but they had a lot of numbers in that program," Wacker said. "Basketball came back with better opportunities for me.

"Overall, the school has a lot of the same values as I do and I felt it would be a real good fit academically and community-wise."

She plans to study either pre-law or biology.

"I haven't decided which one but I'm very passionate about both," said Wacker, a National Honor Society member and active volunteer in her free time. She has served the last few summers as a counselor at a ranch camp and has been very involved with service projects at her church.

Wacker became the fifth starter for Fremd's state-ranked team to have committed to a D-I or D-II basketball program.

"It's such a relief, especially with so many tough classes that I've loaded myself down with in school," she said. "It's nice to know where I'm going to call home the next four years."

Football

Mike Houghton (Prospect) will be starting at right guard on offense for Army on Saturday in the annual game with Navy.

Houghton, a sophomore, wears No. 70 and is 6-foot-4, 257 pounds.

Southern Illinois senior quarterback Mark Iannotti (Schaumburg) was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic first team. South Dakota State junior linebacker Jesse Bobbit (Palatine) was named to the second team.

* Washington (St. Louis) junior wide receiver Kevin Hammarlund (St. Viator) was named to the first team Southern Athletic Association (SAA) and University Athletic Association all-conference teams,

Hammarlund hauled in a team-high 64 catches for 957 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2015. He led both leagues in receiving yards per game (95.7), and was also first in the SAA in receptions.

Men's basketball

Winthrop senior guard Jimmy Gavin, who attended Prospect High School, was named men's basketball player of the week in the Big South Conference.

Gavin averaged 30 ppg in two road games that the Eagles split.

His week was highlighted by a 38-point performance at North Carolina State. Gavin scored 22 of his 38 points in the second half in the Eagles' 87-79 loss.

His 38 points were the third most scored at PNC Arena behind North Carolina State's T.J. Warren, who has an arena record 42 points and Davidson's Steph Curry, who scored 40 in 2008.

It was also the highest point total for an opposing player against the Wolfpack since 1979.

Gavin is tied for the sixth most points scored in a single-game in the history of the program, tying Greg Lewis' 38 points against UNC Greensboro on Dec. 21, 1999.

That is also the highest point total by an Eagle against a NCAA Division I nonconference opponent.

The week started with Gavin scoring 22 in Winthrop's 79-78 win at USC upstate. …

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