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Article updated: 4/24/2014 4:03 PM
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Fremd's Gorecki makes Duke her choice
 

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Fremd's Gorecki makes Duke her choice
  • Fremd’s Haley Gorecki is bound for a collegiate basketball future at Duke.

    Purchase Photo | Fremd’s Haley Gorecki is bound for a collegiate basketball future at Duke. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Duke women’s basketball coach Joanne P. McCallie directs her team in a practice during the 2011 NCAA tournament.

    Duke women’s basketball coach Joanne P. McCallie directs her team in a practice during the 2011 NCAA tournament. Associated Press

  •  Fremd coach Dave Yates on Haley Gorecki’s college choice:

    Fremd coach Dave Yates on Haley Gorecki’s college choice: "Duke is getting a fantastic player and an even better person." Daily Herald File

 

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie has a resume as one of the top coaches in college women's basketball.

She's even written a book called "Choice Not Chance," published in 2012.

Story Continues Below

Fremd's gifted guard Haley Gorecki, a junior, had the chance to pick from many Division I programs that were recruiting the decorated 6-foot-2 guard.

Her choice was made two days ago when she chose to play for McCallie's program in Durham, N.C.

"I am very excited to be part of the Duke family and playing for Coach P while representing Duke," Gorecki said after making her announcement via twitter on Wednesday.

McCallie, whose players, coaches, staff members and friends continue to refer to as Coach P, recognizing her maiden name of Palombo, is one of only four head coaches in Division I history to lead three different programs to 25 or more wins in a single season.

Gorecki has been an all-area guard the last three seasons for Fremd coach Dave Yates.

"I am very fortunate to be able to coach a player of Haley's caliber and character," he said. "Duke is getting a fantastic player and an even better person."

At Duke, she will play for a three-time Atlantic Conference ‘Coach of the Year'.

McCallie won the honor in 2010, 2012 and 2013. She has a 174-35 overall record, 77-13 mark in the ACC and six NCAA Tournament appearances, including a No. 1 seed in 2009 and four straight Elite Eight appearances from 2010-2013.

She has also guided Michigan State and Maine to NCAA appearances while winning more than 500 games in 22 seasons.

"What made me choose Duke was that it had the two major things I was looking for, good academics and a good basketball team," said Gorecki, a three-time all-area selection. "At Duke I am given both."

Gorecki's tweet came around mid-afternoon on Wednesday:

"Finally decided and I could not be happier to call myself a Duke Blue devil! Can't wait to play basketball at Duke!"

She is also looking forward to the entire college experience.

"I fell in love with the team, coaching staff and the campus," she said. "I felt right at home."

Her home for the past three years has been at Fremd, where she has scored 1,420 points and helped lead the Vikings to three Mid-Suburban West titles and two overall conference crowns.

This past winter, she averaged 22.6 ppg, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.5 steals while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line.

"At Fremd, I felt like I've had two of the best coaches (Dave Yates and his assistant Dave Townsend)," Gorecki said. "They push me to become the best player I can be and are always tough on me. I like having coaches that always challenge me to help me grow as a player and person."

"Definitely my parents and my coaches have helped me get through this process. My parents were always there for me whether it was another visit or phone call. All of my coaches along the way have helped me get prepared for the college level."

Yates couldn't be happier.

"I am very excited for Haley and her family," he said. "They have done their homework and taken multiple visits to numerous college campuses. They have put a lot of time and effort into this process."

At the end, they chose a program headed by a coach who longtime local women's basketball followers will remember from her playing days at Northwestern.

The former Joanne Palombo played in Evanston from 1984-87 and she still ranks seventh in Wildcat history with 378 career assists.

McCallie became the 30th active Division I coach with at least 500 wins last December.

Her book ‘Choice Not Chance' highlights the lessons she has learned throughout her life, such as "going against the grain," "never become satisfied," and "enjoying the prospect of getting better daily."

After one more year at Fremd, Gorecki will have her chance to put those lessons into action at Duke.

"Haley's dedication to basketball has put her in a position to have some awesome choices for her future," Yates said.

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