Haley Videckis has a deep Christian faith.
And now she's found a college she believes will help her grow in that faith.
After playing for the Arizona State University women's basketball team this past season as a freshman Videckis, the 2011-12 honorary co-captain of the Daily Herald's Fox Valley all-area team when she led Bartlett to third place at the Class 4A state tournament, announced Thursday night she is transferring to Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.
"I'm so excited," said Videckis, who was home in Bartlett after returning from a weekend visit to Pepperdine and then a visit to Michigan this week. "I'm so happy. I feel so confident in this decision. It's a school where they allow you to grow in your faith and that's awesome; that's what I want. Pepperdine stresses the importance of having a balance while still competing and I didn't feel I had that balance at ASU. I feel I'll be able to grow more as a person at Pepperdine. At Michigan the coaches were great but I really felt a strong connection to the girls at Pepperdine. I talked to some of them on the phone and they stressed how at Pepperdine it's faith, academics and basketball in that order and that's what I've been praying for."
Videckis also said she felt an immediate connection with new Pepperdine coach Ryan Weisenberg, a veteran high school, college and professional coach who was Pepperdine's assistant this past season. He was recently named the Waves' new head coach when Julie Rousseau stepped down after nine seasons. Pepperdine, which plays in the West Coast Conference, was 5-23 last season.
"I'm so excited to play for him," said Videckis, a 6-foot guard who was named to the PAC-12 all-freshman team after she led Arizona State in 3-pointers (28) and was fifth on the team in scoring (6.7 ppg) and rebounding (3.3 rpg).
"He's a great guy. He makes me laugh and he just seems so real."
Videckis, the third all-time leading scorer at Bartlett with 1,350 career points, had career highs at Arizona State of 18 points, 8 field goals, 3 assists and 38 minutes in a double-overtime win over Arizona on Feb. 19 and then made the game-winning 3-pointer against the rival Wildcats five days later. But despite her success on the court, she felt something was missing, even though she does carry a 4.1 GPA and intends to eventually go to law school.
"At ASU I felt like I was sacrificing academics and I didn't feel I had a balance," said Videckis, who will have to sit out one year by NCAA rule but will have three years of eligibility remaining. "After visiting Pepperdine, I've never felt so confident and excited. It's a huge relief."
And when Pepperdine plays Santa Clara, it will be a reunion of sorts for Videckis. Her former Bartlett teammate, Christina Carlson, plays for Santa Clara. Carlson, a 2011 Bartlett grad, is a redshirt sophomore after transferring from San Jose State.