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Bartlett senior point guard Ally Giampapa was looking for three things in a college. She wanted a Christian college, one with a strong health sciences department, and one with an upbeat basketball program.
She found all three at Olivet Nazarene.
Giampapa, a Daily Herald All-Area choice last season, signed a National Letter of Intent on Friday to accept a scholarship from the NAIA school in Bourbonnais.
"I'm very excited," said Giampapa, who transferred to Bartlett from North Carolina prior to her sophomore year. "They've got everything I wanted. I wanted to go to a Christian university, I wanted a good health science major and they play a very up-tempo style and that's me."
Giampapa averaged 9 points, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds for the 15-13 Hawks last season.
"I am very proud of and excited for Ally," said Bartlett coach Denise Sarna. "She has worked very hard in the offseason to continue to improve her game. She is a very dedicated young woman and extremely passionate about basketball. She brings energy and enthusiasm to the court each and every day. She seemed to love Olivet after visiting and expressed excitement to furthering her education at Olivet University."
Giampapa, who plays with a high level of energy at all times, said her maturation at Bartlett is one of the main reasons she's able to continue her career at the next level.
"I was taught from the second I came to Bartlett to push the ball," said Giampapa, who will study to be a physical therapist. "My high school coaches have been very important to me. My sophomore year I knew nothing. Coach (Bill) Murmann (Bartlett's sophomore coach) has had a very big influence on me."
At Olivet, Giampapa will join a program that has been a perennial NAIA power. Under now second-year coach Lauren Stamatis, the Tigers were 23-9 last season and 17-5 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. They earned an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament.
"Coach Stamatis is a fabulous coach and how much the girls respect her is a big plus," Giampapa said. "And all the girls are so nice."
Giampapa can now focus on her senior season at Bartlett. The Hawks open the 2013-14 campaign on Nov. 22 against North Chicago at Benet Academy in the Naperville Central/Benet Tip-Off Tournament.
"Being able to play my senior season with all the pressure off me will be great," said Giampapa, who also considered Indiana Wesleyan. "I can give it my all and have fun."