PERU — When the basketball season was over this year at St. Bede Academy, Lady Bruins standout Mo Dean had enough of the game, telling the BCR she was going to go to college and just be a student. Turns out, she wasn’t ready to walk away from the game after all.
On Wednesday morning, the 2013 BCR Player of the Year signed to continue her hoops career with Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, and is ready to play again.
“I was burnt out, a little tired,” she said. “But I’ve really did miss basketball. Being a part of a team is something you’ll hold on to for the rest of your life.”
Dean said Sauk was just a good fit for her. She had considered IVCC.
“It’s far enough away from IV. I’ve lived her all my life,” Dean said of the Illinois Valley. “I’ll get to experience something new and different. It’s only an hour away and I can come home if I miss it.”
Dean said she found everything positive at Sauk and coach Jedidiah Johnson, whom she called a laid-back kind of person.
Sauk, McGunnigal said, will allow Dean an opportunity to grow as a player and as an individual. He said he was proud she took the chance to go for a visit and not sell herself short on her ability.
“She will gain a little bit of independence by being away from home which will be good for her to rely on herself a bit,” he said. “Coach (Johnson) has a good system of each of his players checking in with him each morning in the fitness center to be sure she is getting to class and they have good interschool communication between faculty and Coach Johnson. She felt really comfortable with him and how he coaches. For just being a short way from home, she is getting a great college experience and a tremendous opportunity for herself to really leap into the next phase of her life.”
On the court, McGunnigal said Dean is a very talented basketball player that will still develop skills.
“Getting to the next level where they can really focus on individual work and position play, she is going to flourish. I really feel that she will take off with Coach Johnson and his assistants and have a great two years there which will hopefully lead to more for her,” he said.
If the opportunity would come along to continue her career at a four-year school down the road, Dean said she would possibly open to that. The 6-2 center played big for the Lady Bruins, averaging 14.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
Dean plans to study public relations and mass communications at Sauk.
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