Holy Cross 'perfect' fit for Libertyville's Huber
A trip east could have gone south.
Consider that Lauren Huber verbally committed to play basketball for the College of the Holy Cross a week before she planned to visit the campus in Worcester, Mass.
"It was a risk because I could have gone there and hated it," said Huber, an incoming senior for Libertyville and a varsity starting guard since her freshman year. "But it was a perfect."
Better than perfect, maybe.
"It's such a pretty campus because it's sitting right on top of a hill," Huber said. "It's beautiful. It's a good workout walking (around the campus)."
Huber will play for head coach Maureen Magarity, who was named Holy Cross' head coach in April. The Crusaders compete in the Patriot League (NCAA Division I) and the college's high academics also appealed to Huber, who carries a 4.5 weighted GPA. She and her mother, Michelle, took a one-day round-trip flight to visit Holy Cross on Monday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they did a self-tour of the campus, and Lauren says she was able to talk with team members. Her instant connection with them also made her realize she made the right college choice.
She also had offers from Eastern Illinois, Valparaiso and Western Michigan. She is Libertyville's first D-I recruit since Kelly True (University of Illinois-Chicago) and Colleen Bray (Sacred Heart), each of whom graduated in 2003. Selecting a college before visiting was not what Huber initially planned. The quarantine, due to COVID-19, changed that.
"I always had wanted to go to campus first and then commit," Huber said. "But I just loved the school so much. Everything was just so perfect, and I felt it. Even without stepping foot on campus, I felt a connection there."
The 5-foot-10 Huber averaged 10.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game during a junior season that netted her Daily Herald All-Area and All-North Suburban Conference honors for the second year in a row.
During the quarantine, she says her dad, Kevin, has been doing weight-training and Bowflex workouts in the basement two to three times a week with her and her brother, Jack, an incoming sophomore at LHS.
"I love him, but he's crazy," Huber said with a laugh of her dad.
With her added strength and college commitment out of the way, Huber is looking forward to her senior campaign. Her leadership role should increase, as fellow all-area guards Margaret Buchert (DePauw) and Lydia Crow (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh) graduated. The trio helped Libertyville fashion a 23-game winning streak and win 27 games last season.
"I don't think I've hit my ceiling yet," Huber said. "I think if I keep putting in the work, things are only going to go up, especially with my offensive game. I think it's been getting a lot better. Last year was a steppingstone. Hopefully, if we have this season, I think it will be a lot better. With Margaret and Lydia now gone, we're all going to have to step up, especially me. It's going to be a good test."