Hilary Rehfeld has chosen to accept a partial scholarship to play basketball at the University of Southern Colorado next season.
Rehfeld, a 6-foot-1 senior center for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball team, made the decision during November's early-signing period. But Rehfeld's signing of an NCAA National Letter of Intent wasn't announced until last weekend.
"I was happy to get that out of the way," Rehfeld said after Juneau beat Sitka 47-23 last Friday night.
Southern Colorado is an NCAA Division II school based in Pueblo, Colo., that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Thunderwolves are 11-9 overall and 5-8 in the RMAC so far this season.
"They're kind of short and they only have eight players this year," Rehfeld said. "I looked at UAF (the University of Alaska Fairbanks), but it's way too cold up there. I visited Pueblo and I really liked the school."
"She visited our campus in the fall with her father," Southern Colorado coach Misty Murphy said. "She enjoyed her visit and felt that USC would be a good fit for her. She immediately connected with the players on our team, which was very important to all of us. We're happy that Hilary chose to become a member of our program. With time, we believe she will become an exceptional player."
Murphy said Rehfeld is on a partial athletic scholarship, which may be boosted by academic scholarships later. Murphy said she pictures Rehfeld playing in the post, even though she said Rehfeld will need to bulk up a bit for the college game.
"Personally, I'm not a big fan of redshirting, but that depends on how hard Hil will work in the off-season," Murphy said. "Yes, she does need to get much stronger before she will be able to make an impact at the next level. I do feel she is capable of doing so. She has great hands and good size and possesses many of the characteristics it takes to be successful at the NCAA Division II level."
Rehfeld said she's debating between majoring in education or graphic design. She was spotted by Murphy when she played on a traveling summer team of Alaska players coached by East Anchorage High School coach Dorena Bingham.
"When I saw Hilary play last summer at the End of the Oregon Trail Tournament, she had an excellent game against a great team from Utah," Murphy said. "She held her own against a highly recruited post player from that team. I felt she had the potential to become a great post player."
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.