Maine West's Dugalic commits to Oregon
Angela Dugalic, one of the most highly-recruited players in Maine West girls basketball history, has made her verbal commitment to play for the University of Oregon.
The celebrated 6-foot-4 center, who helped lead Maine West to an undefeated Class 4A state title this March, averaged 13.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.0 blocks her junior season.
She will be a senior this fall and no longer has any worries about where she will play her college career.
The Ducks were 33-5 this season and advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA women's tourney for the first time in program history. They fell to eventual national champion Baylor 72-67.
In the game before, the Ducks won 88-84 over Mississippi State.
"I was watching that game on television with my parents and my brother and that's when I was like 'OK, I like this place a lot.' " Dugalic said "I liked their style of play. And I think I'll play inside and outside there."
In high school, Dugalic is a dominating inside force.
"There's not too many 6-4 girls in high school, so I play inside a lot," she said.
There also aren't too many 6-4 girls who play soccer.
If there were, who knows, Dugalic might have ended up playing on the pitch each spring along with her all-area teammate, junior guard Dylan Van Fleet (also a standout for the Warriors' girls soccer team).
"I used to want to be a Division-I soccer player when I was real young," Dugalic said. "But there weren't a lot of 6-foot-4 girls running around the soccer fields, so I said 'let's just do basketball and stick to that.' "
It turned out to be a perfect solution as she has become one of the all-time leading scorers in West history. In three years, Dugalic has 1,081 points along with 718 rebounds, 192 steals, 143 assists and 93 blocks.
For the moment, she is considering studying sports management or sports design. She would love to work for a company like Nike.
While she does feel sort of relieved making her decision just after her junior season, Dugalic was never all that distracted by the many colleges recruiting her.
"Honestly, every school that recruited me has been very polite and respectful," Dugalic said. "Obviously, there are a lot of phone calls and mail, but it didn't get out of hand.
"It just showed they care. But it is nice that now, it's just me focusing on basketball and on keep getting better."
That's exactly what Warriors third-year coach Kim de Marigny (95-6 record just like Dugalic) loves to hear.
"We always knew she could develop into a high-quality player," de Marigny said. "We just had to wait and see how high the quality of her work ethic and aspirations were.
"And they were very high. We want her to continue to work hard and reach all her goals. We're looking forward to her giving us all she's got next season and then we'll look forward to what she can do in Oregon."
Maine West assistant coach Jerry Stonequist was on the bench for the Warriors' 1988 Class AA state championship team, which also had a 6-foot 4 center, Heather Ertel, who went on to play at the D-I level for Northwestern.
"I think this is awesome for Angela," Stonequist said. "I told her I hope to see her in the NCAA tournament in two years."
Dugalic said it was the Ducks' coaching staff that made her feel Oregon was the place for her.
In just five seasons under head coach Kelly Graves, Oregon has advanced to three-straight Elite Eight appearances.
"The coaching staff was very dedicated," she said. "Before I even visited the school, they recruited me for 15 months and feel I've know them even longer, I loved their dedication and the time they put in getting to know me."