Hoops homebody eyes Guelph or McMaster
Home is where the heart is for Niagara Prep basketball player Julia Colavecchia.
The desire to pursue a NCAA Division 1 basketball career was outweighed by a need to stay close to her Niagara Falls home.
“I got some offers from far away but I am a homebody,” the 17-year-old said Friday, after scoring 18 points to lead Niagara Prep to a 101-62 victory over TRC Academy in Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association play. “I love my house and I want my family to come to my games and support me. And they wouldn’t be able to if I went far away.”
There is also a practical reason behind her desire to stay in Canada.
“I wanted to stay in Canada and I have heard from other people that the education in Canada is better,” she said. “After basketball, you have to rely on your education.”
All that’s left to decide is which Ontario University Athletics program lucks out and lands her services.
“I have sort of made up my mind,” the six-foot guard/forward said. “I know I am staying in Canada but I just don’t know where in Canada.”
The two leading contenders for her services are McMaster and the University of Guelph. It’s not going to be an easy decision.
“It’s close,” she said, adding education will be the deciding factor.
She is planning to study kinesiology and McMaster and Guelph both look like great landing spots.
“I really like the atmosphere and I have done visits at both places,” she said. “I like all the people, they are really friendly and in basketball, they all play my style.”
Her style is being an all-around player.
“Julia came here and she has really, really worked on her game,” Niagara Prep head coach Dave Picton said. “She has worked on her off the dribble, getting to the basket and not just being a shooter.”
But shooting is her bread and butter.
“She is flat out one of the best six footers who can shoot the ball and that’s what schools love about her,” Picton said. “She does great job at it and she shoots at a high percentage, but she has worked hard to round out her whole game.”
He applauds her work ethic.
“I love coaching her. She moves, she works and you can see it in her game.”
Colavecchia feel her biggest on-court improvements have come on defence, driving with the ball and her shooting.
“I have really liked the Niagara Prep experience,” she said. “The pace is so much faster and I feel that has prepared me well for university.”
Like many Grade 12 students her age, she is ready to start her university career.
“I have senioritis and I just want to be done,” the former Niagara Rangers and Niagara Juel player said, with a laugh. “I am ready for my next step.”
First-place Niagara Prep pushed its record to 9-0 while TRC Academy dropped to 2-5 in OSBA action.
“We have been working really hard in practice and we have been making sure the girls are competing at practice,” Picton said. “You see that we go five on and five off and that’s what our practices are like. We compete.
“My job is to get them better and I am really proud of how the girls are doing.”
Picton complimented Alexis Wright on her energy and defence in Friday’s game as well as the shooting of Madalyn Picton and Colavecchia.
Niagara Prep 101 TRC Academy 62
Mick and Angelo’s/Johnny Rocco’s/Cracker Jacks Player of the Game: Niagara Prep’s Julia Colavecchia with 18 points.
For Niagara Prep: Colavecchia 18; Madalyn Picton 17; Sarah Te-Biasu 13: Donna Ntambue and Sarah Harvey 10.
For TRC Academy: Lisa Tesson 18; Teniesha Clarke 10.
Up next: Niagara is at Southwest Academy Tuesday.