Whitewater's Shelbourn commits to Reno
WHITEWATER Julia Shelbourn is headed west.
The 6-foot-4 Whitewater High School senior verbally committed to play basketball next season for the University of Nevada-Reno.
Shelbourn was an All-Rock Valley North first-team selection the past two seasons, averaging 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game as a junior.
Shelbourn said her decision came down to the recruiting schools’ styles of play.
“Quite a few schools were interested, but I was mainly focusing on two schools on the West Coast and a school on the East Coast,” Shelbourn said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
“The main thing was the style of play,” Shelbourn said. “Midwest teams, like the Big Ten, play a lot slower tempo. I’m not big enough for the post position for the Big Ten.”
Nevada-Reno is a Division I program coached by former University of Wisconsin head coach Jane Albright. The Wolfpack had a school-record 22 wins last season and will move to the Mountain West Conference next year.
Whitewater High coach Judy Harms said Shelbourn and the Wolfpack are a perfect fit.
“Julia’s leadership is tremendous on and off the floor, and she will bring a passion for the game to that program,” Harms said. “She has continued to work hard and gotten better every year. And you can’t coach 6-4.
“By signing now, Julia can concentrate on basketball, and what we hope is a big season for us. Julia will be one of 11 seniors we’ve got coming back.”
Shelbourn said she made her decision early to enable the other schools that were recruiting her to turn their attention to other players.
And moving to Reno is not a worry.
“Reno has warmer temperatures, and my parents said it was only a three-hour plane ride away,” Shelbourn said. “Even if I would have gone to like UW-Green Bay, from here that’s a three-hour drive.”
Shelbourn has played the past two seasons for the Wisconsin Lakers, an AAU team based out of Oconomowoc. Milton’s Morgan Blumer and East Troy’s Breanna Gaspervich also were on the team, which has played summer tournaments in Cincinnati, Lexington, Ky., Chicago, Nashville and Kansas City, Mo.
“I’m getting stronger,” Shelbourn said of her progress this summer. “We play a lot more uptempo than in high school, so I’m playing more outside.”
Playing strong forward is where Shelbourn sees herself playing in Reno, after completing her senior season at Whitewater.
The official signing date is in November.