Tuesday morning, Notre Dame senior standout basketball and volleyball player, Katie Dettwiller, signed her letter of intent to play college basketball with division one Saint Francis University.
Saint Francis is a four year Catholic liberal arts university located in Loretto, Pennsylvania and has an enrollment of an estimated 1700 undergraduate students. The Red Flash compete in the Northeastern Conference at the division one level alongside fellow universities such as Sacred Heart University, Robert Morris University, Mount St. Mary’s University, among others.
“It’s super exciting,” said Dettwiller when joined by her friends, family, and coaches at her signing ceremony Tuesday, “It’s kind of bitter sweet because you’ve worked your whole life for this moment. All the time spent talking on the phone through the recruiting process. It’s just amazing feeling for the school, my team, my family and everybody.”
“I’m excited for her,” said Notre Dame Lady Titans head girls’ basketball coach J.D. McKenzie at the signing ceremony, “All the hard work she’s put in, to reap the awards and to get a D1 scholarship, there’s not a more deserving girl out there. The great person she is, not even necessarily as a basketball player, to go along with that. I don’t think there’s a more deserving girl to accomplish what she’s accomplished so far.”
When it came time to decide where would be her college of choice, Dettwiller said she kept her faith at the forefront of her decision.
“It being a catholic school was very big to me. I’m very big on my catholic faith, so that was the main thing I was looking for throughout the process. As well as being small, it’s just like Notre Dame in that way. Everybody’s an athlete there, it seems like everyone who goes there is an athlete for one of the teams. I love the area, the people, and I’m really excited to get to be there next year.”
“I kept telling her, it’s got to be a comfortable fit for you,” said McKenzie of advice given to his center during the recruiting process, “Don’t worry about Division 1 this, Division 1 that. Find a coaching staff you like, an area you like, a place that has a degree that you want, a place you would feel comfortable living for the next four years to continue her career. She had three places she was pretty interested in, but it kept coming back to wanting to be at Saint Francis.”
During her junior campaign, Dettwiller helped her Lady Titans team win the school’s first district championship alongside a perfect regular season and postseason record at 25-0 before falling to girls’ basketball powerhouse Waterford in the regional semifinals 49-30. In that season, Dettwiller averaged 14.7 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, and 4.9 blocks per game while also shooting 76% from the floor.
The Lady Titans will be favorites in the SOC I again this season, and both Dettwiller and McKenzie are looking forward to their upcoming season which will begin next week.
“Every year when you have seniors, you want to send them out with accomplishments that they’ve not yet achieved,” said McKenzie, “I would love to send Katie (Dettwiller) out by making a state appearance in basketball, going farther than we did last year. She’s close to a thousand points and a thousand rebounds individually. But I think she would trade all of that to get to that final four, and that would be the best way to send her out. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think our focus and mindset are in the right place right now as a team, and Katie’s been one of the main leaders in that.”
“My team and personal goals are one in the same,” said Dettwiller when she announced her commitment to Saint Francis in August, “As a team we have goals to win the conference and to make it farther in the tournament than we ever have before. And also, to continue in the tradition of being successful for the future Notre Dame teams in the years to come.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT