Mike Croell was out in the middle of nowhere, enjoying the Colorado summer from the seat of his bicycle when he found out the news about his team’s Bri Wilber.
“That’s great if it’s true,” he said somewhere near Standley Lake.
Fifteen minutes later he received confirmation. Wilber, who was travelling with her Denver club team, made a verbal commitment to Lindenwood University, a Division II school in St. Charles, Missouri. It was actually her club team, BC Denver, that congratulated her via Twitter on Wednesday.
After breaking onto the scene during the Eagles’ championship run in 2010-11 as a freshman, Wilber has spent the last two years — albeit successful — battling an ankle injury. It wasn’t until this club season that she felt she began to play her best basketball in years.
“The last two years, I played okay and the injury certainly had something to do with it,” she said. “After this summer, and switching club teams, I honestly feel like I’ve played better than I ever have. Hopefully this senior year, I can come out and just wow everybody.”
It will be a senior year played without the distraction of trying to impress recruiters and the constant thought in the back of her head of where she was going to play her collegiate ball.
“That is exactly what I wanted from the start,” said Wilber of her decision. “I really wanted to get it done before high school and focus mostly on the high school season.”
Said Croell: “We went to a few team camps in June, and you could finally start to see it again, especially against some of the who’s who of competition in the state. She seemed like she was ready to take that next step and be one of the best point guards in the state.”
The Lindenwood coaching staff began following Wilber and her club team this summer in Kansas and had a chance to see her play in both Chicago and Denver. She took her official visit on July 17 and sealed the deal this week. Adding to the allure of the school was its criminal justice program.
“That is what I wanted to major in and there were a few other schools that were interested, but they didn’t have the criminal justice programs,” said Wilber, who will keep her game fresh in fall leagues. “That was one of my main concerns, was the major, and they have it.”
Follow Jon on Twitter: @JonEYunt